During the House debate Friday, the only opposition came from a Republican. Rep. Charles Gregory, R-Kennesaw, argued that a Republican-controlled chamber should be able to pass a better gun bill.
“If this is the best gun bill we can collectively come up with, we should be embarrassed,” Gregory said.
Gregory said many gun-rights supporters believe lawmakers are “playing games with their God-given rights” because the bill does not go far enough to allow people to carry weapons where they want.
Democrats did not move to block the bill or speak against it.
The House vote sets the stage for the issue to be decided in the final three days of the legislative session. A conference committee of House and Senate negotiators is likely to be appointed to try to find compromise.
Perhaps the most contentious issue is the so-called campus-carry provision allowing weapons on public college campuses, with the exception of athletic events, dorms and fraternity and sorority houses. Gov. Nathan Deal has made it known he and the Board of Regents do not support the idea, but the House has now twice voted in favor of campus carry.
Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, the author of SB 101, said campus carry is a “delicate issue.” Ginn describes himself as a “strong 2nd Amendment rights person,” but also said he and University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby were roommates when Ginn was a freshman lawmaker. The two are still friends and, Ginn said, “I want to make sure we try to show him respect and we’ll try to make sure we move forward with good legislation.”
Staff writer Kristina Torres contributed.