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Deal Signs Campus Carry; Hice Helps Pass Trumpcare

Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

Campus carry protesters at the Arch.

In spite of ongoing opposition in Athens, Gov. Nathan Deal has signed HB 280, this year’s version of the “campus carry” legislation he vetoed last year.

Deal’s veto statement last year included a full-throated defense of gun-free campuses, citing founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, who banned guns at the University of Virginia, and the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who ruled in District of Columbia vs. Heller that banning guns in schools and on government property is not unconstitutional.

Deal also cited several specific objections in 2016, and addressing those apparently was enough to convince him to sign HB 280 in spite of his general objections to HB 859.

Like HB 859, HB 280 carves out exceptions for fraternity and sorority houses, dorms and athletic events. Other exceptions added to HB 280 include daycares, classrooms where dual-enrollment high school students are attending class, faculty offices and rooms where disciplinary hearings are conducted. There’s some ambiguity, however, about the bill’s language.

The law, which takes effect July 21, applies to concealed-carry permit holders.

Here’s Deal’s full statement:

It is altogether appropriate that weapons not be allowed in sensitive areas on college campuses, and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration given by the General Assembly in expanding these excluded areas within a college campus in this year’s bill,” said Deal. “While HB 280 addresses the rights and restrictions relating to weapons carry license holderson a college campus, it in effect may have greater significance for students who are going to or coming from a campus. Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory.

 At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection, even those who are weapons carry license holders, because they are either going to or coming from a campus where no weapons are allowed. In recent years, we’ve witnessed college students fall victim to violent attacks in or while traveling to libraries and academic buildings, and while traveling to and from their homes to class. 

As this legislation is more narrowly tailored as to exclude areas on a college campus, I’ve signed HB 280.

Deal signed the bill in spite of opposition from the University System of Georgia, every public college and university president in the state and every campus police department. 

Likewise, House Republicans just passed a health care bill in spite of opposition from not only Democrats, but conservative think tanks, hospitals, doctors and the AARP—pretty much everyone except the president and 217 GOP congressment.

If you are shot on campus, your health insurance may or may not cover it—if you still have any. Athens Rep. Jody Hice, along with other House Republicans, helped the latest version of Trumpcare the American Health Care Act across the finish line.

Here’s what Hice had to say for himself:

Hardworking Americans can no longer bear the high cost of health care in our country, and the time for relief is now. The AHCA promotes policies that will lower health care premiums, stabilize the insurance markets, improve the quality of care, and increase consumer choice, while continuing to provide affordable coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

 The AHCA is not perfect, but repairing the damage of Obamacare, lowering costs, and protecting people with pre-existing conditions is critical to the future of this country, and this legislation is a strong first step. The latest amendment, which dedicates an additional $8 billion to reduce costs for patients with pre-existing conditions, strengthens that commitment. Today’s passage of the AHCA is only the beginning of a long legislative process to fully repeal Obamacare and its harmful policies, which have proven to be disastrous for our health care system. I am proud to be at the forefront of this fight and follow through on the promises we’ve made to the American people.

Remember, though, that this is a very bad bill that does the opposite of what Hice and others say it does.