Why Gov. Deal Must Veto Campus Carry

It’s not for the reason you think.

You may think that he should veto it because you are in favor of gun-free zones on college campuses. (There is evidence that shows they are safer than surrounding communities and that college students are much more likely to be victims of crime off-campus than on).

Perhaps you feel that guns on campus are ok, but you are concerned about the lack of exceptions for administrative offices and disciplinary hearings. It’s true those hearings can be emotionally fraught and we know that the brains of college students do not deal with stress well. Keeping guns out of those situations might be good policy.

It could be you think the college students are ready to interact with guns, but the high school and younger students that go to classes on these campuses aren’t yet ready for the responsibility.

Or maybe you are ok with guns on campus in general, and with having guns in disciplinary meetings, but you think all of the pre-schools and day care centers on college campuses shouldn’t be forced to allow guns on campus.

Or maybe it is that almost every campus police chief and school president in Georgia is against the idea, and you think we should respect the opinion of those who know the situation best.

All of those are good reasons to veto campus carry, but that’s not why Governor Deal must veto.

It is because when a Governor is in his last term, he cannot back down from a veto threat. As reported in the AJC, the Governor sent hand-written notes to both the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor with the language he would need included in a bill for guns to be allowed on campus. Both were understandable reluctant to revisit the issue, as the Governor’s letter arrived after the passage of the bill. That’s, of course, because many of these objections were not raised until the final debate on the Senate floor in attempted amendments by Senator Elena Parent, among others.

Should Governor Deal decide to allow Campus Carry to become law, it will embolden legislators to ignore future statements about spending legislation. That is especially concerning given the big plans he has to reform education planned for next session.

So instead of risking his ability to influence legislation, he can veto this bill and ask that the changes he requested be made, a form of amendatory veto. Tom Wolf and Robert Bentley backed down and now have diminished ability to improve legislation. It is unlikely that Governor Deal will invite a reduction of that authority.

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blakeage80
blakeage80

I look at it this way: He really stuck his neck out (or the legislature made him stick it out) on the religious freedom bill going against both Georgians and their representatives. His choice is now to sign campus carry and be able to pursue education reform with some political capital left in tact or not sign it, in which case he becomes a lame duck, campaign issue for the next election cycle. I predict Washington DC style gridlock if he applies his veto to campus carry. BTW, nice try, implying that dual enrollment students could carry guns. They aren’t… Read more »

gcp
gcp

A governor does not “rewrite” legislation after a bill has passed. He can either sign it, veto it or let it become law w/o his signature.