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Monday, March 8, 2010 - 2:39pm

Property Owners To Decide On Guns

A bill allowing Georgia property owners to decide if individuals with proper permits could carry weapons on their property overwhelmingly passed the Senate Special Judiciary Committee today.

Under the bill, Georgians with a permit could carry a gun anywhere as long as the property owner allows it. This could include churches, the airport, and universities.

It is currently unlawful to carry weapons, even with a permit, within 1000 feet of a university. Under this measure, bill sponsor, Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh (R - Sharpsburg) says this will change.

"What we are trying to do is remove the 'gotcha' situation for those citizens who have gone through the process of obtaining a permit. They want to obey the law. they want to do the right thing and they can't because they don't know exactly where the property is."

When it comes to carrying weapons on campus, the bill would leave that decision up to the Board or Regents. Tom Daniel, of the University System of Georgia, testified against the bill.

"This particular bill would change the decision from state law saying that it is now up the Board of Regents to make the policy," Daniel testified. "We would prefer that it would be in state law."

Senator Donzella James (D - College Park) was the only committee member who voted against the bill.

"I don't see anything wrong with the way the regulations are now," James said. "We have enough laws on the books, and they are controlling everything that needs to happen with guns right now."

The bill will now before the full Senate.