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Gun Bill Jams on Final Day

Sorry, UGA students, faculty and staff. You still have to leave your six-shooters at home.

An effort to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry guns on college campuses died on Thursday, the last day of the legislative session. The AJC explains:

Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, said the two sides had an apparent agreement on Wednesday but said the Senate moved the goal posts the next morning.

“We thought we had a deal,” an exasperated Powell said.

His comments surprised Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, S.B. 101’s original sponsor. Talks on the bill during the session’s last few days went on in fits and starts. Given that the state Legislature works on a two-year cycle, next year will likely see a repeat of the effort to come to some sort of agreement.

“Alan’s worked very hard on this bill, and I’ve worked very hard on it in the Senate,” Ginn said. ” I don’t think that my good friend would do anything to discourage me. There’s a lot of great features in the versions that came out of both chambers and we’re just trying to marry them.”

Powell said House and Senate negotiators had agreed, after Gov. Nathan Deal stepped in, to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry weapons on college campuses with the stipulation that permit holders between the ages of 21 and 25 would have to complete an eight-hour safety course first.

“We held our nose and went along,” Powell said.

Thursday morning, he said, senators told House negotiators that they wanted to require anyone, regardless of age, to complete the safety course before being allowed to carry a firearm on campus.