Stun guns allowed at public colleges, universities

ATLANTA —For the first time, students at Georgia’s public colleges and universities will be allowed to legally carry stun guns, starting Friday.

State Rep. Buzz Brockway, R-Lawrenceville, sponsored the bill and told Channel 2’s Lori Geary this is all about safety.

“During the session, I was getting calls, especially from students at Georgia State, because there were three robberies in the library while we were in session, so there were a lot of students who contacted me to say, ‘Hey can I have one now?’” Brockway said.

Brockway said most campus policies prohibited the electroshock weapons on campus but this state law will trump those policies.

Earlier this year, Gov. Deal vetoed the campus carry bill, which would have allowed licensed gun owners to bring their weapons onto campus, excluding dorms, fraternity and sorority houses and sporting events.

Georgia HB 792 allows anyone 18 years or older or currently enrolled in a Georgia public college to carry a stun gun anywhere on campus.

University System of Georgia spokesman Charlie Sutlive released a statement to Geary, saying “Our … institutions are aware of HB 792 taking effect July 1, and we have been working directly with our campus chiefs of police and safety departments in preparation.”

The system’s chief of police sent out a memo to all campus public safety directors alerting them to the change in the law.

Georgia Gwinnett College student Ashley Flagg told Geary she would not carry a stun gun because she’s afraid it would be used against her.

Flagg, though, also said this was about her rights as a student.

“I think we should have the right to be able to carry it because in some cases people feel like they are threatened on campus,” Flagg said.

Chelsea Jackson, also a student at GGC, said stun guns should not be allowed.

“Just something else to give you an excuse to be violent to somebody because you want to. If someone pushes you in the hallway the wrong way or they step on your toe, if that person is having a bad day, then what?” Jackson said.

Brockway said, “We trust college students to fight wars for us, to drive, to get married, to make all sorts of decisions. I think we can count on them to act wisely and protect themselves.”

The law goes into effect Friday.

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