ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Licensed gun holders are one step closer to being able to carry on public college campuses.
On Friday, the Georgia House voted to pass House Bill 280 commonly referred to as the campus carry bill. The measure would allow students 21 and over with a state issued permit to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses.
Students at Albany State University have differing opinions on the bill.
"I have mixed emotions about it. Because carrying a gun is not only a responsibility but also a privilege," said student Abraham Bivins.
The debate is growing on whether the legislation would be a move that would create a safer environment for students.
"I think people would walk around in fear. There could possibly be incidents on campus where people are playing with their gun and it could discharge," said Aaron Pierce.
Licensed gun owner and student Michael Roper disagreed.
"I happen to have my license and I do agree that responsible students and adults like myself, you should be allowed to protect ourselves, just as anyone else who's off campus, especially with it being an open campus. Anybody could at any time just come on campus," said Roper.
Some students argue protection is best left in the hands of campus security.
"I, myself, I feel pretty safe with the security that we're provided," said student Kayla Miller.
"I mean if you want to exercise your rights, I'm all for it off campus, but on campus I wouldn't feel as comfortable," she said.
The bill is nearly identical to legislation Governor Nathan Deal vetoed last year. This year, the bill's sponsor added an exemption for on-campus preschools, hoping to win Deal's support. The bill also exempts student dorms and athletic venues.
The proposal has now been sent to the Senate.