Governor Nathan Deal recently helped Georgia join 9 other states by signing Bill HB 280-“Campus Carry Bill,” which permits licensed firearm owners to carry concealed firearms in specific areas on college campuses in the state of Georgia. This has been a highly controversial piece of legislature for several months with many concerns voiced by the governor before finally passing on May 4th. Bill HB 280 came to light after several college campuses fell victim to mass shootings. The intended purpose of the bill is to allow students and faculty that have concealed carry permits the opportunity to carry concealed firearms in the case of needed self defense against active shooters on campus.
Limitations of Campus Carry HB 280
Although HB 280 allows concealed carry on college campuses in the state of Georgia, there are several areas excluded from the bill where firearms continue to remain prohibited. These areas include:
- Buildings or property used for athletic sporting events;
- Student housing, including but not limited to dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses;
- Any preschool or childcare space;
- Any room or space being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school;
- Any room or space used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to, classes related to the “Move on When Ready Act”
- Any faculty, staff, or administrative offices, and rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.
What Do I Need To Do in Order To Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit?
Despite HB 280 being passed, there still are regulations that must be followed in order to be permitted to obtain a concealed carry license that is valid for 5 years. The steps to obtain a concealed carry permit include:
- Applicants must be residents of Georgia and provide an official form of identification and a payment method at probate court.
- You will need a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your license mailed to you.
- Applicants will be photographed and sent to have fingerprints taken at the probate court.
- Applicants must Complete and submit form DPS 445 “Application for License” at probate court
- Permit-holders must be at least 21 years old- or at least 18 with proof of active service in the military or proof of training
- While most applications cost an average of between $65 and $80, costs may vary by county.
- A county probate judge will request a criminal history records check and a background check on you within 5 days. About 30 days later, law enforcement will finish its background check and determine whether you can receive a license.
- County probate judges may restrict state residents with criminal records from getting licenses.
- Firearms license are valid for 5 years. At least 2 months before your license expires, you should go to court to apply for renewal.
- http://gaprobate.gov/content/weapons-carry-licenses read the following for more information on restrictions for obtaining a weapons carry license
What If I break the rules?
It is illegal to carry a concealed handgun in Georgia without a concealed carry permit. (Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-123.) Penalties include a fine, up to five years in prison, or both. A violation of HB 280-“Campus Carry” is punishable only as a misdemeanor with no jail time and a $25 fine. You will not lose your permit.