New Gun Laws

Schools take wait-and-see approach

by Celia Shortt

Coweta County School System leaders will not be making a quick decision regarding the arming of teachers and administrators in schools.

The General Assembly passed an expanded gun carry law this last session, and it is awaiting Governor Nathan Deal’s signature to become law.

“House Bill 60 has just been passed by the legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature,” said Dean Jackson, public information officer for the Coweta school system. “School system officials will be getting training and legal guidance on this new legislation, and will be examining how it could potentially impact operations in our schools. Any decision would come after thorough analysis and discussion.”

Last week, the Georgia legislature passed HB 60, which allows Georgia Weapons Carry License holders more places they can carry.

It also allows local school systems “the option of determining whether they want to arm their teachers or their administrators,” said Jerry Henry, executive director of gun rights organization Georgia Carry.

Currently, Coweta County has Security Resource Officers stationed at each school. These officers are the only ones permitted to be armed at the schools. These officers are Newnan Police Department officers or officers with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

All are armed. Some SROs have drug dogs with them as well.

Henry also said if the teachers or administrators do carry in the school, the gun must always be “kept on their person,” and the school systems can determine what type of training they would need to carry guns on campus, but “there are some minimal standards.”

HB 60 also allows guns in churches, bars, certain government buildings, and Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Churches will be able to either allow or not allow guns in their buildings, as will bars. Right now, guns are not permitted at either.

If the legislation is signed by Gov. Deal, at the airport, those who forget to leave their firearm at home or in their vehicle and take it through security will no longer be subject to arrest and gun confiscation on the spot. This provision encompasses those going through security with their firearm, but have no criminal intent to use it.

According to Henry, under the current law, if someone is arrested at the airport for taking a gun through security, he or she has to stay overnight in the Clayton County Jail, post bail, pay a fine, and would most likely lose his or her firearm.

If Deal signs HB 60 into law, it will take effect on July 1.



More Local

UPDATE

Authorities identify burglary suspects

Authorities have identified the three suspects arrested in a manhunt that ended on Paces Landing Court on Thursday. Timothy Cole Stevenson, ... Read More


Turin preparing to celebrate its 125th anniversary

Turin will be celebrating its 125th birthday later this month. A volunteer committee is meeting weekly to make plans for the Aug. 29 celebra ... Read More


UPDATE

Teen killed in single-vehicle accident

A 19-year-old lost his life in an accident early Friday after he lost control of his vehicle, drove off the road and collided with a tree. S ... Read More


teen excels at Tae Kwon do

Local athlete dreams of competing in Olympics

Alina Kent has only been training in Tae Kwon Do for a little more than a year, but after placing gold in numerous tournaments this summer a ... Read More


Authorities capture burglary suspects

Two males and one juvenile are in custody after leading authorities in a manhunt following a failed burglary attempt on Thursday. Shortly be ... Read More

looking back

The Emergency Room: Its use and abuse

Editor’s note: Overcrowded hospital emergency rooms, and long wait times, caused by people using the ER for things that aren’t t ... Read More