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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 12:40pm

Georgia’s Gun Law Goes Into Effect Soon And School Districts Aren’t Jumping At The Changes

Updated: 5 months ago.
Georgia's new gun law goes into effect July 1, 2014.

At midnight Monday Georgia's new gun law is set to take effect.

One of its provisions allows Georgia school districts to let teachers carry guns. But no district is jumping at the option so far.

Attorney Philip Hartley represents school districts across the state. All Things Considered host Rickey Bevington spoke with Hartley about the upcoming chances and reactions from school districts around the state. Here's an edited transcript below.

RICKEY BEVINGTON, host, All Things Considered: The lawmakers who crafted this bill were very careful to leave it up to the school boards. What was the thinking there?

PHILIP HARTLEY, attorney: From the school districts' point of view, we certainly think it's appropriate that the people who are closest to the situation – the people who are most accountable to the voters and parents – should be the ones to make this decision. And I assume that was part of the lawmakers’ thinking.

BEVINGTON: What are you hearing from school boards right now?

HARTLEY: I think it's safe to say that the large majority of school boards are either not interested in this time or are taking a “wait and see” posture. To my knowledge no one in the state that's adopted such a policy or practice since the law was passed.

BEVINGTON: This law goes into effect 12:01 Tuesday morning. Do you think that school boards and teacher organizations and parents are going to have a different attitude once this becomes the law of the land?

HARTLEY: No. I believe that school boards and school administrators are reluctant about any situation that would place guns in the school setting. That is not to say there maybe situations where a board for their district or in a particular school might take advantage of this option. But as a matter across the state, I believe there will be a strong reluctance to place more guns into the school in the hands of staff or other personnel.

RICKEY BEVINGTON: Well, the law takes place tomorrow, and we’ll see what happens. Philip Hartley thank you so much for joining me.

PHILIP HARTLEY: Thank you.

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