ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Southwest Georgia college students with permits can now carry a concealed weapon on campus this school year.
Albany Tech staff said they're complying with the new law, and they're taking steps to make sure their students are safe.
"I thought that was a stupid idea because if you're trying to keep students safe why would you bring weapons around them," said Former Albany Tech student Miesha Clark.
Some students had mixed reactions about the law.
Clark was against the new legislation, "you never know the mindset of an individual they may be mind at their instructor and have a license to carry a weapon, and the come in and kill everyone."
But current student Andrew Bishop said a gun may come in handy during those dangerous situations.
"Like if somebody tries to attack, you'll be protected," said Bishop, and not having to worry about your gun being at home.
Albany Tech's President Dr. Anthony Parker held a meeting with campus police and faculty so they're aware of the guidelines from the Technical College System.
"To make sure we're all on the same page when it come down how we deal with the issue or situation with someone carrying a weapon illegally," remarked ATC Campus Police Chief Roychard Hill.
But it's the responsibility of the gun holder to know the law.
- Permit holders must be at least 21 or at least 18 with proof of basic training or active service in the military.
- The law excludes on-campus preschools, faculty offices, classrooms being used by high school students.
- And off limits to dorms and athletic facilities.
For Albany Tech, areas prohibited include the Child Development Center, and any classes with Move on When Ready students.
"There should be no weapons or guns in a classroom or a lab with high school students," said Dr. Parker.
Campus police will also be more visible.
"Even if I had a permit to carry one I wouldn't bring it to school because I'm here to learn and I trust the school enough to provide enough safety for me," said Clark.
Albany Tech campus police chief Hill explained before the campus carry law went into effect, they did have an individual with a gun who had a permit, and he said that person complied and took it to the car.
Hill believes others will comply with the new law.
Hill also will be holding an active shooter drill later in the year to prep faculty and students for those types of incidents.
The Board of Regents gave us this statement:
"In preparation of HB280 becoming law, Chancellor Steve Wrigley released guidelines and a follow-up Q&A was sent to all USG campuses. You can find those guidelines and Q&A at http://www.usg.edu/hb280. Additionally, USG campus police chiefs received training from USG police chief Bruce Holmes. In turn, the chiefs have provided training for their police departments and other departments on campus as well. Campuses have used a variety of methods to disseminate the information and engage their campus communities through forums, trainings and/or workshops, and webpages. Also, several campuses have created campus committees/task forces to guide the implementation."
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