MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – People will be able to carry concealed guns on public college campuses in Georgia starting July 1st.
Georgia College and State University held a campus carry information session Wednesday for faculty and staff to help them learn more about House Bill 280. The new law will allow licensed gun owners to carry guns on public campuses.
Don Challis is Chief of Police and the Director of Safety at GCSU. He wants to make sure everyone on campus feels safe.
“It’s important that our community knows about this law and the guidance that we’ve received and how we’re going to discuss and enforce the law,” Challis said.
He wants faculty and staff to remain calm about this new law.
“We’re doing a lot to bring down the temperature a little bit,” he said. “This falls squarely on my office, so the better the job that we can do of talking about the behaviors we’re looking for and the response they may see, the easier our job becomes.”
Challis is focused on behaviors that may show signs of a student who could be violent.
“I’m not worried about a person sitting at their desk, with a gun on their hip, taking notes,” he said.”I’m more worried about the person next to them whose not armed who has shown that they have a grievance with the institution of the classroom that has gone unmet, at least in their eyes whose become more agitated.”
Even though guns will be allowed on campus, some areas are limited. Residence halls and sporting events, for example, will not allow guns.
Michael Andrews is a freshmen who supports the bill.
“Personally, I think it’s a good idea cause with the growing rate of school shootings, it will give shooters a second thought entering a campus knowing that a lot of students around them will be armed,” he said. They’ll be putting themselves in more danger than at a campus that is a gun-free zone.”
Challis is confident that GCSU will remain a safe place.
“Less crime occurs here than any other place you can be, we want to tell that narrative to try and offset some of the rhetoric that is less than accurate about campus crime,” Challis said.
GCSU will hold more sessions for faculty and staff until June 30th.
For more information about the bill, click here.