Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal / AP

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Gov. Nathan Deal will veto the so-called ‘campus carry’ bill law allowing concealed weapons on Georgia’s public college campuses.

The decision came after weeks of speculation from punditsquestions about Deal’s intentions, and calls from several groups for the governor to veto the measure. Tuesday was the final day for Deal to either sign or veto the bill before it became law automatically.  

The law would have allowed licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses. 

The bill was heavily debated in the state legislature, though it eventually made it through both the House and Senate with relative ease.

Supporters argued the measure would simply extend Second Amendment rights to college and university campuses and said it would help students protect themselves. The bill gained the support of groups like the National Rifle Association, who threw in their support.


Opponents, like the state Board of Regents, the President of the University of Georgia, and even R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe, said the bill would put students and teachers in harm’s way and would threaten an open and honest academic environment at state schools.

Once the bill made it through the legislature, Gov. Deal expressed concerns about how the measure would impact campus child-care centers and dually-enrolled high school students taking college courses.  


He asked lawmakers to address those concerns, but the request got a chilly reaction from lawmakers. House Speaker David Ralston (R - Blue Ridge) said making such changes would gut the law.


Deal’s decision comes just a day after Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam let a similar measure become law without his signature, making his state the ninth state with a campus carry law.