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Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 9:31pm

Gun Expansion Stalls

Georgia lawmakers failed to pass a controversial gun bill by Thursday's midnight deadline ending the 2013 legislative session. One lawmaker says he’s already planning to push for the issue next year.

Minutes before the House declared the session's adjournment, Representative Alan Powell of Hartwell addressed his fellow legislators.

The Republican lawmaker said he pushed until the end to establish more rights for gun owners. The bill would have allowed people to carry guns in churches and on college campuses.

But the bill did not come up for a vote and Powell placed the blame with the Senate, the Governor’s Office and the Board of Regents.

“We were fighting an uphill battle," Powell said. "The fourth branch of government, the Board of Regents, had declared taboo and I say that and y’all know I don’t say that disrespectful, but that’s exactly right. The Board of Regents has been opposed from day one and yes, they are the fourth branch of government.”

Chancellor Hank Huckaby and all university system college presidents had signed a letter opposing campus carry.

Powell said he will fight to pass a gun rights bill next session.