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Friday, January 24, 2014 - 1:44pm

After Failed “Campus Carry” Measure, New Gun Rights Bill Will Focus On Private Property

Sponsors are moving to finalize a gun rights bill that will not include a controversial "campus carry" provision. Now lawmakers say the gun bill will focus on other areas.

The push to allow students to carry weapons on public college campuses has long been a sticking point in negotiations on expanded gun rights.

A potential compromise would have left the decision to school presidents, but legislative leaders decided to drop the provision after a legal review concluded it was likely to be ruled unconstitutional.

Lawmakers say they will reintroduce the bill with gun legislation for other groups such as churches and school.

“It's a bill that focuses as we have tried to focus in the House on ensuring the Second Amendment rights of Georgians on private property,” said House Speaker David Ralston.

Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), the bill’s sponsor, says the legislation will include measures giving churches the authority to decide whether to allow guns on their property.

The bill would also allow local school districts to arm administrators who have a gun permit.

“They may want to add security by having someone in house be that person who may be retired law enforcement retired military, whatever. They'll set the guidelines,” said Jasper.

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) applauded the decision to drop the "campus carry" provision.

“It is critical that we keep the most vulnerable population in our state safe from violence, and that includes our colleges and universities and or technical schools,” said Abrams. “So I was very pleased by yesterday's decision and the fact that we will not see campus carry as an issue this year.

Advocates for the House legislation say their overriding goal is to pass a gun rights bill in this general assembly session.