House leader blames “fourth branch of government,” the Board of Regents, for downing campus carry bill

tb1605A miffed Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, took to the House well with 25 minutes left in the 2013 session Thursday to decry those who blocked the effort to allow guns on college campuses.

He blamed the “fourth branch of government,” the Board of Regents, who, he said, declared the campus carry issue “taboo.”

“The Board of Regents has been opposed to this since day one and, yes, they are the fourth branch of government,” he said. “We were fighting an uphill battle.”

Senate Bill 101 would have expanded where guns are allowed in Georgia, including much of college campuses. It passed the House by a vote of 116-55 but stalled in the Senate over the issue of guns on campuses.

Chairman of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, Powell said House and Senate negotiators had agreed Wednesday to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry weapons on college campuses with the requirement that permit holders between the ages of 21 and 25 would have to complete an eight-hour safety course first.

But Powell said the Senate demanded even more Thursday, playing games with what he called an important second amendments rights issue. “They wanted everybody to stand for this training, That was something we could not do,” Powell said.

“It is the same old game,” he told his House colleagues as minutes remained in the 2013 session.

“That being said, I want to say this one more time. Each and every one of you in this House, especially those of you who voted in favor,  you did it in a straight up and down manner. I will tell you that when you come back next year, you may have the opportunity to deal with this again. ”

He closed with, “Pack your pistols.”

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

52 comments Add your comment

Another comment

March 29th, 2013
12:36 am

As a parent of a child who will start college in the Fall, I have a big thank you to the 4th branch of Government the board of Regents.

Really?

March 29th, 2013
12:53 am

So, really? The house wouldn’t pass it because it required people to take a GUN SAFETY COURSE.

Why would that EVER be a bad thing?!?

Bernie

March 29th, 2013
1:39 am

Finally! A Group who has demostrated the Wisdom & Understanding that is required for the uniform protection of all of Geoorgia’s Students.

The Clown Posse crowd from the Statehouse lack this very important and necessary character trait, as part of their on going considerations and it Shows!

Ed Advocate

March 29th, 2013
2:44 am

Not sorry this bill failed. It also allowed k-12 school systems to arm school employees. Thank you 4th branch.

Bernie

March 29th, 2013
2:50 am

correction:
Finally! A Group who has demonstrated the Wisdom & Understanding that is required for the uniform protection of all of Georgia’s Students.

The Clown Posse crowd from the Statehouse lacks, this very important and necessary character trait, as part of their on going considerations and it Shows!

Rational Thinker

March 29th, 2013
2:50 am

Anonymous in DeKalb

March 29th, 2013
5:35 am

Who better than @Bernie would know about clowns?

Cindy Lutenbacher

March 29th, 2013
6:02 am

What good news! At least for one more year, students may be a bit safer. Of course, we’ve got the promise from Powell that this bad idea will raise its zombie head next year. In the interim, I suppose we can expect NRA dollars to flow into various legislative pockets.

As a college prof who is pretty crazy about her students, I can still say without question that I wouldn’t want them to have state permission to have weapons. I understand that the law applies only to state colleges and universities, but my statement is intended as a general thought. I have a feeling (just a feeling–no research on this one) that the students in my classes are more dedicated and mature than most college students, so I definitely would not want guns in the hands of students who may be less mature.

Just as a side note–when I asked the students in my classes if they thought it would be a good idea to allow students to have guns on college campuses, the response was an unequivocal NO.

Concerned DeKalb Mom

March 29th, 2013
6:10 am

The word “sophomoric” exists for very good reasons…no need to legally arm young people who are testing the boundaries of good decision-making. I shudder to think of young freshmen and sophomores, on their own for the first time, consuming ridiculous amounts of alcohol, being allowed to legally carry weapons (yes, I realize some do it illegally already). No need to add fuel to that fire.

Ronin

March 29th, 2013
6:19 am

Just like Sunday alcohol retail sales, a version of this gun bill will eventually pass. In addition to eight hours of class time, there should mandatory field training before a concealed carry permit is issued to a applicant age 21-25.

Ronin

March 29th, 2013
6:27 am

@Dekalb Mom, two quick points about your comment: A normal freshman or sophomore would normally be age, 18,19 or even 20, none of which would be eligible to obtain a concealed carry permit, nor would they be old enough to legally consume alcohol.

It’s legal for a police officer to carry a weapon on campus. Why not offer a tremendous discount to all active law enforcement officers on tuition at state schools to encourage a greater presence. The schools are more secure and it’s an incentive for law enforcement staff to continue their education.

Pardon My Blog

March 29th, 2013
6:29 am

Great news! @Concerned DeKalb Mom – my thoughts exactly. @Anonymous in DeKalb – LOL!

Pardon My Blog

March 29th, 2013
6:37 am

@Ronin – I think the point being is that there is enough stupidity going around without adding guns to the mix. GREAT idea and one that should be looked at by the schools. Instead of low tuition to illegals, we should actually give the tuition breaks to law enforcement, fire fighters, and veterans.

Lee

March 29th, 2013
7:21 am

Pure political grandstanding. The folks who introduced this bill probably realized it didn’t stand a chance of passing and the stealth anti-gunners tried to back door a prohibitively expensive training requirement for concealed carry permits.

Atlanta mom

March 29th, 2013
7:44 am

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
8:04 am

May God bless the board of regents! I am sending a heartfelt thank you for your wisdom and I am delighted to see so many posters on this blog agree that guns on campuses are a bad idea.

Georgia Resident

March 29th, 2013
8:08 am

The “fourth branch of government” is to commended for a rare show of common sense in Georgia state government. That they don’t receive large campaign contributions from the NRA could have something to do with this fact.

teacher&mom

March 29th, 2013
8:09 am

Rep. Powell is fighting a “uphill battle” because he proposed legislation that is not only stupid but very, very dangerous.

Another view

March 29th, 2013
8:12 am

One spot of good education news in a year of misery.

Matt321

March 29th, 2013
8:26 am

That’s your Georgia state legislature, folks: shortly after a horrific school shooting that shocked the entire nation, try as hard as possible to make guns more prevalent in our schools. Because nothing says a higher education to enrich your mind like packing a semi-automatic in your backpack.

exteacher

March 29th, 2013
8:30 am

I find it incredibly stupid that someone is actually fighting to get a bill like this passed. We live in such a DUMB state.

Tom

March 29th, 2013
8:34 am

All this means is that I am not legally carrying my pistol while at the tech campus. Always have carried and always will carry. Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

Also: I have never had to draw it and I hope I never do. But if threatened with physical violence, I will respond with deadly force.

trust

March 29th, 2013
8:51 am

The republicans like to talk a big game; but when push comes to shove, the republicans do not trust the law abiding citizen. Smaller government, constitutional rights….. BS.

trust

March 29th, 2013
8:57 am

and all the folks saying its dangerous. you have Mall cops carrying guns and you do not want to trust a teacher. It was a teacher that lost her life trying to stop a madman. In Texas, there has been armed teachers in some classrooms since 2007: where is the carnage in Texas schools? just a bunch of mouth pieces; oh our kids are in danger from conceal carry, yea tell that to the next crazied gunman shooting up a SOFT target

indigo

March 29th, 2013
9:00 am

The NRA says “don’t worry, money always wins out in the end”.

And it will.

And college students will be packing heat.

And profits will get even bigger for gun manufacturers.

And the bodies will just keep piling up.

Only in America.

Pride and Joy

March 29th, 2013
9:07 am

***New Sickening Report @ DH Stanton Elementary***
I just read the AJC report about abuse at DH Stanton Elementary school where teachers literally hit students in the head and so on.
I am literally sick to my stomach.
Investigators who were researching CRCT cheating discovereed heinous abuses that were never before reported.
Go here, but warning, it’ll ruin your week:
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/missing-report-may-be-focus-of-grand-jury-probe/nW66d/

Metro Coach

March 29th, 2013
9:07 am

When seconds matter, the police are only minutes away. College students, get yourself a firearm, its better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Ask the students who get mugged on campus at Ga Tech how not having any means to defend themselves worked out.

JF McNamara

March 29th, 2013
9:10 am

Unlike our idiot legislators, those in The “fourth branch of government” would have actually had to be around a bunch of armed 18-22 years olds. Everyone but gun nuts can see that is a recipe for disaster,

JF McNamara

March 29th, 2013
9:13 am

@Metro Coach,

I’m not sure that killing someone is the appropriate action for getting mugged. You are just as likely to ruin your own life. I went to Georgia Tech, and I never felt unsafe. Stay on campus and don’t walk around alone in shady areas at 2 a.m. It’s not that hard to stay safe at Tech.

indigo

March 29th, 2013
9:21 am

Metro Coach

Picture this.

A group of about 30 Tech boys go to a frat party.

They are all packing heat.

They stagger out of the party at about midnight, and stumble into a gang of thugs from town who are also armed and have come to rob those “college honkies”.

Get the picture?

Kenwoody

March 29th, 2013
9:22 am

I’ve not read the bill and that now seems moot, but the from what the post describes and the comments convey I’m now confused. It appears clear the bill did not lower the age required to obtain a GWCL but in fact placed an additional burden on 21-25 year old students that would not apply were they not enrolled. Had it passed would a legally licensed 24 year old Tech grad been able to carry on campus, perhaps when attending a professional conferences at the GT Hotel/Conference Center or would she need training first? All seems very silly.

Madge From Accounting

March 29th, 2013
9:23 am

My problem with the concealed carry in general is this – When the police come to a scene and 6 of 12 people are armed, how is the police to tell who are the victims and who are the perpetrators?

An armed perpetrator can hide out and disappear in a free for all melee and cops can shoot the wrong person while the right one runs away.

Its not like someone walks around with a sign on them that says, “I’m armed, but I’m NOT the bad guy”. So in a matter of seconds a cop has to make a decision who is the credible threat and who is the victim.

And if he makes the wrong decision his life may be in danger too.

Madge From Accounting

March 29th, 2013
9:32 am

@trust – Teachers and mall cops are two totally different people with two totally different mindsets.

A teacher, most teachers, are givers. People who take a job because they feel they have a calling for that job. They usually LOVE what they do and are nurturing people.

Cops are totally different. Most cops pick their jobs because they are suited for that position. They like a little danger and they enjoy the law and order aspect of it.

Most teachers would find it abhorrent to have a gun in their classrooms and would probably hesitate to use it. They’d think about talking the person “down” first because shooting would probably be the very last option for them to use.

Most cops don’t see it like that. They have been trained incessantly to respond to life threatening situations and have been in scenarios, (either real or through training), where they had to make split second decisions and pull the trigger in an instant. They’re training is intensive and extensive — they know how to respond to dangerous situations because that’s part of their job.

Teachers and Cops are two different people and just because you put a gun in someone’s hands does not make them the same.

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2013
9:34 am

Ronin: ” A normal freshman or sophomore would normally be age, 18,19 or even 20, none of which would be eligible to obtain a concealed carry permit, nor would they be old enough to legally consume alcohol. ”
Like an underage college student would never drink alcohol! Yeah , right! But your other point is good; give scholarships/cost cut to police that return to college to get a degree! That is a win/win solution!

Metro coach: I bet you are really fast on the draw while carrying books and a laptop! How many hands do you have????

Blue Fish in a Red Lake

March 29th, 2013
9:37 am

Thank goodness for that “fourth Branch” then! At least one of the more asinine bills put forth this session won’t go through. But with the sheer number of bills ranging from odious to outright dangerous being put forth, some of them are unfortunately bound to pass.

Centrist

March 29th, 2013
9:48 am

I sincerely hope it does not take another massacre in a defenseless “gun-free” zone to effect a change of heart in the Senate.

ABC

March 29th, 2013
9:51 am

Well the “4th branch” doesn’t accept obscene contributions by the NRA, so they are free to actually act rationally. Can you imagine??!!?? The nerve of some people to actually make sense!

same ole same ole

March 29th, 2013
10:00 am

really?
some may want to study up on Surpreme court decisions. The police are not required to “protect” you. He or she is “JUST” a teacher; they don’t comfort students when a parent dies or is thrown in jail, they don’t provide protection or try and stop the ills of the world to encroach upon our schools. Who stopped the gunman in AZ, a citizen not a cop, who stopped the gunman that shot at the white house. The normal citizen is capable of great things, they just need the tools. We can make an enhanced conceal carry for those 30 and over (the law sets limits on the president) so I don’t see a problem with setting an age limit and having to take a course to get the enhanced conceal carry permit.

But, like I said before; the republican in GA are all show and no go. mouth pieces want sercurity but think the police can be everywhere. Sorry to burst your little bubbles, but students and thugs are carrying guns not worried about your little law at all. If a person can shoot an 18 month in the face you think they won’t do the same you your little joy sitting in a school.

Shar

March 29th, 2013
10:04 am

Thank you, thank you Board of Regents.

And Rep. Powell, bitterly denouncing the Board of Regents as “the fourth Branch of government” only shows your own bias. The fourth branch is the media, but the fifth is definitely the NRA. Unelected, unrepresentative, uninformed and the creation of gun manufacturers, the NRA puts all of us in danger while the Regents are tasked with teaching us all to think independently. No wonder Powell and his fellow travelers don’t like them.

I’d love to see a constitutional amendment passed that prohibits any further expansion of legal gun carry zones without a vote by the people, and the first place guns should have to be carried would be the Statehouse. We need some protection from the stupidity and avarice of the water boys for the gun lobby.

FlaTony

March 29th, 2013
10:12 am

I’m certainly glad that there were some reasonable folks that prevented this legislation from passing. While the gentleman from Hartwell may be upset with the Board of Regents, he should really examine his own heart! Trying to push through legislation that is harmful to our state is reprehensible. Going on a tyrade like he did is childish.

same ole same ole

March 29th, 2013
10:13 am

lol, yep just like I thought you don’t want to know the truth; sure lets just give guns to the police; oh, wait what happened in new orleans; some cops shot and mudered innocent ppl. America is so great that you do not have to own a gun; but don’t ever think just because there is a “gun free zone” you are safe. Haven’t you noticed all the mass shooting happen in such places or are you totally blind?

Facts are important

March 29th, 2013
10:14 am

Pardon my Blog, our aside is so off topic, but also inaccurate so I have to respond. Illegal immigrants, when they attend the few colleges they are now allowed to attend, (none that have to turn any applicants away, per the 2010 Regents Ban) have to pay out of state tuition, so no discounts there. You can certainly question whether they should be allowed to attend at all, but the legislature did consider a bill banning illegal immigrants from all Georgia colleges, and it passed in the senate but did not make it to the house floor. Commenting here will not change laws, but getting to know your lawmaker or those who support your cause might help. Giving them money for their campaigns seems to help a whole lot to get the bills you want passed.

For the record, though, if people are already here by high school, it means their parents (or trafficking criminals) brought them here through no choice of their own (I’m sure you would have rebelled against your parents at 5 years old rather than become an illegal immigrant, but most of us do not have that level of maturity as a young child). I’d rather them have jobs than be stuck here after high school with no prospects. Another AJC article suggests that those who have only a high school education find it harder and harder to get jobs, so I support leaving community colleges and tech schools open to those who were brought here as children or trafficked here illegally through modern day slavery. Unemployed 18 year olds are trouble, no matter how they came to be here in their younger years.

Giving tuition discounts to those who serve their communities as police or firefighters or EMTs is of course a wonderful idea, and I would fully support it.

Madge From Accounting

March 29th, 2013
10:20 am

@Same ole — If you hate America so much, there are planes leaving everyday from Hartsfield that can take you anywhere in the world you wish to go.

You like a place where the entire populace is armed? Well, let me tell you about a great little place I’ve heard about called Somalia…………..

Pete

March 29th, 2013
10:27 am

Thank goodness reasonable people prevailed here. Some of those clowns in the legislature want to make Georgia the wild, wild west. Thank you Board of Regents!!

Scott

March 29th, 2013
11:06 am

Thank God this bill didn’t pass. Now muggers and rapist who ply their trades at Georgia college campuses can breathe collective a sigh of relief….

same ole same ole

March 29th, 2013
11:59 am

@madge, I have bleed for this country; so don’t even go there; either we trust our citizens or we don’t; I would much rather trust a oild field roughneck than the politicans in state captials or in DC. Do you know how many guns are in the US? Over 300,000,000 let me say it THREE HUNDRED MILLION, so with that many guns out there we have whole sale slaugther, dead bodies lining every street. Law abiding citizens are not the problem. Our fore fathers I believe where smarter than us; they trusted and respected the common man; if they didn’t they would not have empowered us with the second amendment.

Truth in Moderation

March 29th, 2013
12:55 pm

LOL! THIS IS A VICTORY FOR THE 2nd AMENDMENT!

If you had followed my earlier posts, you would have know that the original House Bill 512 WAS A STEALTH GUN CONTROL BILL! The “bait” for the uninformed, was greater legal access to areas for conceal carry. The HOOK in the bill was the BEHAVIORAL HEALTH angle. A whole section of the original bill was devoted to giving the Judge access to ALL data collected by an UNDEFINED Department of BEHAVIORAL HEALTH. The judge could use this data TO PREVENT SOMEONE FROM RENEWING THEIR LICENSE OR OBTAINING A CONCEAL CARRY PERMIT. Do not confuse this term with MENTAL health, which was also listed separately in the bill. So where would this data come from and what kind of data would it be? So far, NO ONE WILL LEGALLY DEFINE THE TERM “BEHAVIORAL HEALTH”. The best clue as to what Feinstein/Bloomberg/Obama mean by it is to look at the “Sandy Hook inspired” CONNECTICUT bill that REQUIRES A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT for public school and home school students (NOT PRIVATE SCHOOL) in grades 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th. This is to be given IN ADDITION TO a medical checkup. Proof of the “assessment” would be sent to the CT Board of Education. When this bill first came out, I called the bill sponsors, and most of the committee members, and asked for a LEGAL definition of BEHAVIORAL HEALTH. NO ONE COULD/WOULD GIVE ME AN ANSWER. In other words, THE GOVERNMENT CAN MAKE IT TO BE WHATEVER THEY WANT! Your child’s “performance” on this assessment can disqualify them from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights BEFORE THEY CAN LEGALLY APPLY FOR A GUN LICENSE! This is the “data” that a judge would have been REQUIRED to access under the original HB 512 wording. When I warned the Georgia House Republicans of this RUSE, they removed it. Originally many DEMOCRATS supported HB 512 AS LONG AS THE “BEHAVIORAL HEALTH” part was in it.

Senate Bill 101 had no sign of BEHAVIORAL HEALTH background check requirements in it. THAT IS WHY IT DIDN’T GET VOTED ON!

If you support the 2nd Amendment…BE VIGILANT FOR FUTURE BILLS THAT CONTAIN THE “BEHAVIORAL HEALTH” WORDING!

Metro Coach

March 29th, 2013
12:57 pm

Indigo, the situation you describe is called “natural selection”. as for being “fast on the draw with books and a laptop in hand”, they make these things called “backpacks” or “bookbags” or whatever coloquialism you are most familiar with, to carry those things so that your hands are free. Care to try again?

Atlanta Mom

March 29th, 2013
12:59 pm

Now that the seed has been planted, it will probably pass next year. Seems that’s the way things work in the Georgia legislature.
Now picture:
A group of drunk students at a frat party packing heat. We can even pretend they are all 21. Someone gets in an argument over a girl, a boy, a football game. How many students will have to die under these circumstances before the legislature figures out it’s a bad law?

Truth in Moderation

March 29th, 2013
1:58 pm

@Atlanta Mom

ARE YOU AGAINST DARWINIAN EVOLUTION?
College students are supposed to be the more intelligent and responsible students, yes?
Public drunkenness is against the law. Drinking under the age of 21 is against the law.
If these “superior” students illegally participate in these dangerous behaviors and eliminate themselves from the gene pool, ISN’T SOCIETY BETTER OFF?

Currently, underage college students get drunk and drive, and some end up in lethal wrecks. Are you suggesting that ALL CARS BE BANNED FROM COLLEGE CAMPUSES? HIGH SCHOOLS?