Board of Regents, 'Moms' make gun opposition statement

By Walter C. Jones 
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – The Board of Regents released a statement Tuesday opposing legislation that would allow guns on college campuses, and a separate group is planning a rally to object to them in churches, bars and schools.
The groups are trying to stop House Bill 512 which passed the House of Representatives Thursday, just hours before the legislature's internal deadline. Now the matter is pending in the Senate.
The House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee rolled into one the several separate bills to relax various gun-control measures. Then the House passed it largely on a party-line vote.
"We firmly believe the current law promotes a safe learning environment for our students and working environment for our faculty and staff," notes the four-sentence statement signed by Chancellor Hank Huckaby, the regents of the University System of Georgia and the presidents of the state's 31 public colleges.
Huckaby testified against it in the House committee.
A group calling itself Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is taking a more public tact. Jewish and Christian clergy are also scheduled to participate.
"As people of faith, we urge our elected leaders to reject the proliferation of guns in public places as advocated in HB512," said the Rev. Gary Charles, pastor of Central Presbyterian Church across the street from the Capitol. "We call our worship spaces 'sanctuaries' as a reminder that this is where God's people come to worship God and feel safe from the threat of gun violence." Legislators supporting the bill point to the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment as giving citizens the right to carry guns, arguing that rights should only be restricted under rare circumstances. They also challenge gun-control advocates' contention that outlawing guns would make people safe by noting that murder is already illegal and that anyone willing to break that law won't be stopped by a new one.
Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, unsuccessfully sponsored legislation last term to eliminate the requirement for concealed-weapons permits all together. "I appreciate the Board of Regents' position; however, the language to ease the concealed carry prohibition on campuses reaffirms that citizens who are full-time students should not be regulated to second-class citizen status just because they want to further their education," he said. "Also, criminals will not obey gun-free zones. Students and faculty have the right to defend themselves. Government protection has its limits."
The Senate chairman of the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee where HB 512 is pending, Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday afternoon, but the bill is not on the list for consideration.


More Local

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. PROSECUTORS DETAIL CAUSE OF CAPSI ... Read More


Georgia Cities Week Expo today at the Carnegie

Newnan is celebrating Georgia Cities Week this week with a special expo today at the Newnan Carnegie Library. Designation Downtown Children& ... Read More


reduce, reuse, recycle

Earth Day and ECycling opportunities in Coweta

It’s time for spring cleaning, and in addition to cleaning out the garage and gutters, many Cowetans will be hauling off old TVs, comp ... Read More


Coweta mom, daughter moved seeking CBD oil

Can the Callaways come home?

Now that House Bill 1 has been signed into law, Cowetans Beth and Maggie Callaway can finally consider returning home from Colorado, where m ... Read More


High School Musical

Northgate High brings popular musical to Coweta

Northgate High School (NGHS) plans to bring the popular “High School Musical” to the stage at the Centre for Performing and Visu ... Read More

Mantracker

Annual officer training classes this week

In case anyone is wondering why there are 500 more law enforcement officers than usual in Coweta, this week is the annual Mantracker trainin ... Read More