Political Insider

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Sam Olens, Nathan Deal slam door on talk of 'accidental' campus-carry law

Less than 24 hours after a gun group went public with its contention that language contained in two separate gun bills passed by the Legislature would allow concealed weaponry on public university campuses, Attorney General Sam Olens formally shot the idea down.

Read the background we posted this morning. Olens’ judgment on the state of campus carry in Georgia can be found in an FAQ piece his office just produced, to guide state agencies on enforcement of gun legislation passed by the General Assembly this spring. You can read it below.

The attorney general explains that two bills passed by the Legislature, HB 60 and HB 826, were in conflict when it came to weaponry in school zones. HB 60 was signed last by Gov. Nathan Deal, so it has the last word. From Olens:

“Therefore, there is a general prohibition against carrying weapons in a school safety zone (which includes the real property or buildings of public or private elementary schools, technical schools, vocational schools, colleges or universities.); however, a person who possesses a weapons carry license may have a weapon when carrying or picking up a student and may have a weapon in a vehicle that is in transit through or parked within a school safety zone."

Deal said in a separate statement that he was aware of the "overlapping provisions" so he contacted state lawyers about how to avoid a possible legal conflict. Said Deal:

"I signed HB 60 after HB 826 to ensure the major substantive provisions in HB 60 became law. In doing so, any contradicting language was conflicted out in favor of the last bill signed.”

As some of you have noted, the above is not a legal opinion, but a guide for state agencies. We inquired as to whether a more detailed explanation were on its way -- and were told no. Which means the AG's office may be holding fire for a lawsuit that's promised to come.

Here’s the entire document from Olens' office:

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.