If Nathan Deal vetoes 'campus carry' bill, it will be because of this

The most strained legislative session since Gov. Nathan Deal was elected to the state’s top job ended Thursday with the distinct possibility that he could veto the two highest-profile bills that emerged from 40 frenzied days of lawmaking.

Legislators ignored his last-minute pleas to make changes to legislation that would lift the weapons ban on college campuses. And they passed a sweeping “religious liberty” bill maligned by corporate leaders and gay rights groups after he warned he would reject any legislation that legalized discrimination.

In his public comments, Deal's office only offered vague recommendations on how lawmakers should overhaul the "campus carry" legislation. But documents obtained through an open records request show the governor's hand-written request to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston outlining the specific changes he wanted.

As you can see below, the governor wanted to exempt on-campus child care facilities, faculty or administrative office space and disciplinary meetings and other hearings from the gun rights expansion. The initial measure, House Bill 859, only carved out sports facilities, student dorms and fraternity and sorority housing.

Deal hasn't said whether he will veto the legislation after lawmakers defied his call. But if he does, you can bet he'll point to these concerns:

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More: Georgia Legislature leaves Gov. Deal with big decisions on guns and 'religious liberty'

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.