Speaker David Ralston expects House to pass campus carry Monday

The speaker of the Georgia House expects a bill to allow guns on the state’s public college campuses to be approved by his chamber when it comes up for a vote on Monday.

“When we have armed robberies taking place in campus libraries, right here near this capitol on multiple occasions, I think there is a real concern out in the state,” Speaker David Ralston said Friday.

House members will decide whether to approve House Bill 859, which would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except for inside dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses, and at athletic events. It would also require that the firearms be concealed.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, is opposed by the Board of Regents for the state’s public college and university system. But recent crimes on local campuses, including a spate of armed robberies of students in Georgia State University’s library have led to more support this year for the legislation.

The state House passed campus carry legislation two years ago, Ralston said, and he’s “hopeful” they will pass it again on Monday. The Senate removed that campus carry provision from the gun expansion legislation during debate in 2014.

“I think that developments of violence on college campuses here in the state have strengthened the resolve of the House,” he said. “I expect it will be approved Monday.”

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