Politics

Gov. Deal ‘Not Satisfied’ With Security Around College Campuses

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers the State of the State address on the House floor in Atlanta, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Deal is asking Georgia lawmakers to support a new plan for fixing low-performing schools after voters last fall rejected a proposal for state takeovers of schools that consistently struggle. The Republican governor said in his State of the State speech Wednesday that nearly 89,000 students were stuck in failing schools last year and their number "will grow with each passing school year" if nothing is done. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers the State of the State address on the House floor in Atlanta, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Deal is asking Georgia lawmakers to support a new plan for fixing low-performing schools after voters last fall rejected a proposal for state takeovers of schools that consistently struggle. The Republican governor said in his State of the State speech Wednesday that nearly 89,000 students were stuck in failing schools last year and their number "will grow with each passing school year" if nothing is done. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

As Gov. Nathan Deal considers whether to sign a bill that would legalize guns in some areas on public college campuses, he said Monday he isn’t “satisfied” at local law enforcement efforts to help protect students around campuses.

“I view the issue as not just one of on the campus, as much as it is off the campus,” Deal said.  

He said he’s concerned about students who are going to and from campus, like to parking lots, apartments and other areas.

“If a criminal is really going to pick a victim, they’re likely to pick someone who they know is not carrying a weapon for purposes of protection,” Deal said. “If someone is going to a college campus, they know under the current law, they can’t have a weapon on them, so therefore, they are – for that purpose – defenseless.”

Deal said he called on the university system last year to improve security on campuses, and said he thought the system has made “significant efforts.” He said he called on local law enforcement to do the same thing around campuses. 

“I am not satisfied that they have done appropriately what they should do in light of this,” Deal said. “It’s one thing to simply rail against students having the right to defend themselves, but those students have a right to expect that civilian law enforcement would give them the protection that they deserve.”

He said he’d like to see local law enforcement tailor their hours and employees around the campuses, including parking lots.

Last year, the governor vetoed a “campus carry” bill, but he said this year’s measure “is a much different bill.” The latest measure includes more places where guns would not be allowed, including campus pre-schools and faculty offices.

Unless Deal vetoes the new campus carry bill by next Tuesday, it will become law. 

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