Campus Carry: What you need to know

Campus Carry: What you need to know
Chief John Fields (Source: WALB)
Chief John Fields (Source: WALB)
Albany State starts classes for the fall semester on Aug. 14 (Source: WALB)
Albany State starts classes for the fall semester on Aug. 14 (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - On Monday, classes will begin for many college students in southwest Georgia. This will be the first fall semester students can carry concealed weapons on campus.

As students at Albany State University flood the campus for the first day of classes, some students will be carrying guns along with their books.

The campus carry law went into effect on July 1. It allows people with permits to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses in Georgia.

ASU Police Chief John Fields said it is the responsibility of the gun holder to know the law.

Permit holders must be 21 years of age or older. Under the new law, guns are now allowed in the classroom, but not in classrooms with high school students.

Chief Fields said it is up to the licensed gun holder to check with the registrar's office to be sure of who is enrolled in their class.

"The law says that you supposed to do that. Not come to the police department, not go around to the President's Office or anywhere else. Go to the registrar's office, that's our designated location, and they will tell you if a high school student is in that classroom," said Fields.

Fields said he also wants to remind students to leave the police work to them.

"If you see the police officer doing their job and they're obtaining someone, something's going on or a crisis, don't take it into your own hands to come out and help the police officer because we don't need your help," said Fields. "Because you, in essence, you'll be breaking the law yourself so we have to stop dealing with our situation to come deal with you."

Guns are not allowed in on-campus preschools, dorms, Greek life houses, or athletic events. Guns are allowed in tailgating areas.

For more on the campus carry law, the University System of Georgia has posted guidelines online.

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