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Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 12:04pm

Universities Oppose Gun Bill

Universities are pushing against a bill that could allow people to carry weapons on college campuses.

Right now it’s a felony for a licensed gun owner to carry a weapon onto a university campus. Tom Daniel with the University System of Georgia says they’d like to keep it that way to protect students. He says without it colleges would have their own ban, but that’s a weak deterrent.

"If it’s a violation of policy there’s no criminal penalty which could be interpreted by some as being meaningless, so we prefer the state law,” says Daniel.

Supporters of the bill say university boundaries aren't always clear and the bill will protect permitted gun carriers from unfair arrests.

The bill passed out of subcommittee and now goes to the full judiciary committee.

Democratic Representative Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield says she'll try to change the bill there.

“I think university time, that age in particular, it’s a highly emotionally charged time in people lives and we need to be concerned about the risk of suicide with the increased access to firearms,” says Benfield.