ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A string of recent crimes around Georgia Tech has prompted the university’s college Republicans to push for the right to carry handguns on campus.
Georgia Tech College Republicans and the state’s branch for the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus took to campus today in hope of pushing lawmakers to allow students to carry concealed handguns on Georgia college campuses. The demonstration comes amid a year filled with robberies, burglaries, assaults, and one rape, which has led some students to urge for more than just campus police.
Currently, Georgia residents are prohibited from carrying a gun on any state college campus. For students ages 21 or older, they are allowed to carry guns in their vehicles, but are still restricted from legally keeping firearms in their dorm rooms.
“Criminals don’t pay attention to the rules,” Jason Stubbs, state director for Georgia Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, told CBS Atlanta. “The right to self-defense is very important. An invisible line doesn’t make people more conscious of the situation.”
Stubbs added that the purpose of the three-hour demonstration was to make information on the subject readily available to students as well as starting up an SCCC chapter at Georgia Tech. He said that university administrators did not attend the demonstration.
The discussion about concealed carry on Georgia campuses has become somewhat of a regular exercise. Since the 2007 shooting spree at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people and wounded 25 others, the state has discussed the issue of concealed carry on college campuses from year to year, each time defeating attempts to overturn the law.
“We believe that the safest environment is to prohibit firearms from being present in our classrooms, in our labs, in our dormitories and on our campuses,” Tom Daniel, senior vice chancellor for external affairs for the University System of Georgia, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Pro-gun advocates maintain that a law to allow college students to carry a concealed weapon could have helped prevent the Virginia Tech tragedy. At Georgia Tech, the recent string of crimes has made the issue pertinent again, something the campus’ College Republicans hope can lead to the right to concealed carry on campus someday.
“It will keep the question in the front of other people’s minds,” Stubbs said.