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What Georgia’s New “Campus Carry” Law Means

  • By: Robert Giannini, Esq.
  • Published: June 1, 2017
What Georgia's New
What Georgia’s New “Campus Carry” Law Means

House Bill 280 (HB 280), also called the “Campus Carry” law, is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to hit the desks of Georgia lawmakers in years. You likely have heard of the law, but do you know what the law means? If you or a loved one is planning to attend one of the higher education facilities in Gwinnett County, it’s important that you know how the law could affect you.

House Bill 280 Information

Originally passed in 2016, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal refused to sign HB280 into law until earlier this year after Georgia legislators passed it again with revisions. HB 280 allows individuals who are licensed to carry a gun to do so on college campuses. The law requires individuals to maintain a proper license and is limited to carrying a handgun in a concealed manner. That means that the handgun may be carried in a purse or bag or may be concealed under an article of clothing.

Many people were skeptical of allowing students to carry weapons on college campuses because of potential dangers to faculty and other students. Supporters of HB 280 argue that the road to higher education may take students through dangerous territory. Some students drive extended distances, have class early in the morning or late at night, or may not be familiar with the area around the school.

While signed into state law, every higher education campus in Georgia is responsible for developing and managing its own campus carry policies. It is important for anyone who is considering higher education in Georgia to contact prospective institutions about their individual policies beforehand. Georgia Gwinnett College and Gwinnett Technical College are both applicable to the new law, and individuals attending these institutions should contact the schools directly to find out more.

Exceptions to the Campus Carry Law

One of the most controversial aspects of the Campus Carry law was determining what exceptions should be made and how failure to abide by the exceptions would be managed. The Campus Carry law does not permit firearms to be allowed on all campuses or in every area of every institution. Some of the exceptions protected by law include:

  • Private higher education facilities
  • On-campus preschool or childcare facilities
  • Campuses (or areas therein) where high school students are dual enrolled
  • Student housing, including dormitories, on-campus apartments, and sorority houses
  • Administrative and faculty offices/buildings
  • Disciplinary hearings
  • Classes
  • Excursions or campus special events

Individuals who do not abide by the requirements of concealment or those who violate one of the exceptions to the law may be charged with a misdemeanor offense and may be subject to disciplinary action as applicable to the institution.

As with any law relating to firearms, it is best to explore the laws and your individual rights and responsibilities before purchasing or carrying a weapon. The consequences for violating the law can be strict and damaging to your future.


Robert Giannini, Esq.

About the Author Attorney Robert “Bob” Giannini handles criminal defense and personal injury
cases throughout the metro Atlanta and north Georgia area. With almost two
decades of experience, Bob has the knowledge and experience...Read More