Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed into law changes in regulations on where guns may be legally carried by licensed permit holders in Georgia, with some of the changes affecting the University of West Georgia and its fellow University System of Georgia institutions.
Effective immediately, the new law:
*Retains the school safety zone for public and private colleges and universities but removes the 1000-ft. buffer zone
*Retains an expanded definition of weapons (more than handguns and knives) but changes the penalty for violation of the statute as follows: misdemeanor for license holders but remains a felony conviction for all others
*Allows any license holder (including students 21 or over) to have a weapon in a parked vehicle located within a school safety zone. The statute does not require the vehicle be locked or the weapon otherwise secured
*Allows a license holder to have a weapon in his or her possession in a vehicle (not locked or otherwise secured) when picking up or dropping off a student
*Allows any person to have a weapon in a locked compartment or a locked container when picking or dropping off a student.
“It’s the law now, and the university will comply with the law,” said UWG Police Chief Tom Mackel. “We’ve notified the officers of the changes, and we will monitor the situation to see if any problems arise.”