House passes campus carry bill during a long crossover day

[private]The Georgia House on Friday passed a “Campus carry” gun bill similar to one that Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed last year, but with the hope that this one will earn the governor’s signature.

The House voted 108-63 to pass HB 280 largely on a party line vote. Mike Glanton and Vernon Jones were the only Democrats to vote for it, and the only Republicans voting against were Wendell Willard, Butch Parrish, Tom Taylor, Deb Silcox, Beth Beskin, and Meagan Hanson.

“There have been shootings on the campuses, there have been robberies on the campus,” said Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), one of the chief sponsors of the bill. “At the end of the day, you have a right to defend yourself.”

“It is not a constitutional right to carry a firearm on a college campus,” Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta) countered. “As Governor Deal said last year, campus carry is not covered by the Second Amendment. Reasonable restrictions do not violate the constitution.”

HB 280 allows guns to be carried on all parts of college campuses except dorms, fraternities, sororities, and at sporting events.

The one change in this bill from last year’s version is that it includes pre-schools and day care centers on college campuses as an area where firearms can’t be carried.

Speaker David Ralston was asked if he thought Deal would sign this version of campus carry.

“I think that’s going to be up to him to make the determination,” Ralston said.

In a long “crossover day” schedule of debate, the House acted on dozens of other bills.

HB 225 reiterates what is already in state law: the rideshare service Uber is required to pay the same 4 percent sales tax on its fares that taxi and limo drivers have been required to pay for years.

“It’s not a new tax, it’s an existing tax, but we’re making it clear that Uber as the dispatching party is responsible for collecting and remitting the tax,” said Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla).

“To each and every one of you who pays their taxes, they should be offended, they should be irate (that Uber doesn’t),” Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) said. “This bill just reinforces what is already on the books.”

The House agreed and passed the bill by a vote of 106-60.

HB 192 would make it much more difficult to sue bank officers and directors for negligent decisions they make in the course of running the bank.

The bill is being pushed by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and opposed by the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

“Why do we need extra protection for officers and directors?” asked Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna), an attorney. “They already have lots of legal protections. The bill is unnecessary.”

The House nevertheless voted 128-40 to pass HB 192.

HB 273 would require a daily 30-minute recess period in public schools. The House passed it, 147-17.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: campus carry , crossover day bills