The Georgia Supreme Court ruled on October 31, 2016, that it will be illegal for individuals to carry guns on school property. The exception is if a licensed carrier is dropping off or picking up a student. The Georgia Supreme Court decision was unanimous and was certainly not good news for gun rights activists who wanted state law changed that would allow more people to carry guns at schools. It was also surprising since there have been 142 school shootings in the U.S. since 2013.
The ruling, written by Chief Justice Hugh Thompson, keeps Georgia’s current law in place, which only allows guns at schools during dropping off and picking up students. A pro gun rights group, GeorgiaCarry.org, filed suit against Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, in his capacity as president of the state senate, to get the state law rewritten and allow handguns at schools. The lawsuit was originally dismissed and appealed.
The lawsuit originated from two bills related to carrying guns on campus during the 2013-14 legislative sessions. House Bill 826, was amended to guarantee licensed firearms holders the right to carry a handgun in school “safety zones.” House Bill 60 was much broader and granted the right to carry a firearm on school property, but only “when such person carries or picks up a student within a school safety zone.” The Code Revision Commission ruled that House Bill 60’s language supersedes the more lax language in House Bill 826.
Georgia’s Supreme Court ruling reads, “(GeorgiaCarry) was not entitled to relief under any state of provable facts alleged in the amended complaint, there was no actual controversy which would have authorized a declaratory judgment, and the trial court did not err by granting (the Code Revision Commission’s) motion to dismiss.”