Georgia voters continue to oppose efforts to legalize guns on the state's college campuses, a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows.
More than half of voters — 54 percent — said they do not want state lawmakers to pursue the issue again this year, after Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a bill last year that would have allowed anyone 21 or older with a license to carry a concealed gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except for inside dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses, and at athletic events.
The number of naysayers, however, dropped from three years ago, when an AJC poll asking voters a differently worded question (whether they opposed allowing guns on the state's college campuses) showed more than two-thirds of them did.
"If you're responsible and you have the proper permitting, you should be allowed to" carry a firearm on campus, said Matt Janor, 26, an electrician in Gwinnett County.
But state Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, a vocal opponent of the measure, has cited data showing campuses off-limits to guns to be safer than their surrounding communities. While the issue is expected to roil the Capitol again this year, Parent said the poll results are no surprise.
“This confirms what we already know,” she said. “Georgians think guns on campus is a terrible idea.”
But advocates have vowed to come back this year with another bill, likely setting off a battle that could again put Georgia in a national spotlight.
To see a complete rundown of what the poll found, including voters' feelings on casinos, "religious liberty" efforts and medical marijuana in Georgia, read our premium story by clicking here or logging on to myajc.com. And to dive into our numbers and methodology, click here to check out this nifty interactive page of the results.