Judge hopes to rule soon on campus carry injunction demand

5:14 p.m Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 Education
March 21, 2017, Athens: students, faculty, staff and local citizens hold a protest against Campus Carry Legislation at the University of Georgia Arch on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Athens. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

A team of attorneys made their case before a judge in Fulton County Superior Court Monday to stop Georgia’s public colleges and universities from following the state’s new campus carry law.

The attorneys, representing several Georgia professors, argued state lawmakers overreached the state’s constitutional boundaries when they passed the controversial bill that Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law. They’ve also argued the law, which allows guns on some parts of campuses, creates a more dangerous environment for students and faculty. Lawmakers who filed the bill, though, said it was needed to give students with gun licenses the opportunity to protect themselves on campus.

Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams asked the defendants’ attorneys several questions during the 45-minute hearing, including one about the “proliferation of guns” on college campuses, citing active shooter incidents in other parts of the country.

Attorneys representing the defendants, Deal and Attorney General Chris Carr, countered the injunction request should be rejected for a host of reasons, such as sovereign immunity, the legal principle that says the state is immune from a civil suit.

Neither “defendant Deal nor Carr is a proper defendant in this suit,” said Josiah Heidt, an assistant attorney general.

Adams she said hopes to quickly issue a ruling, which could be as soon as next week.

A Georgia law takes effect July 1 allows licensed weapons holders to carry concealed handguns on some parts of Georgia’s public colleges and universities.
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