UGA wrestles over whether ‘campus carry’ law covers football tailgating

University of Georgia fans mingle as they tailgate off of South Lumpkin Street before a 2013 Georgia game. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Here’s a big question about Georgia’s new campus gun law that remains unanswered: Does a provision that bans weapons from “buildings or property used for athletic sporting events” also include parking lots used for tailgating outside stadiums?

The Telegraph of Macon reports that the University of Georgia, home to tens of thousands of tailgating fans on many fall Saturdays, is still wrestling with that question.

From the Telegraph:

Georgia’s athletics department is unclear whether this law will strictly mean that guns are disallowed inside venues such as Sanford Stadium or if they will be banned from all tailgating sites. The University System of Georgia and attorneys likely are still sorting out the best way to enact the new law.

 

Athletics director Greg McGarity was reached twice during the past five days since the signing of the law and said he isn’t sure of the details yet. The University System of Georgia Regents declined further comment on the topic.

House Bill 280 allows anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on public college and university campuses — but it includes a long list of exemptions where guns are still forbidden. It is set to take effect on July 1,  and the state’s higher education system is scrambling to figure out how to implement it.

Read more here: Georgia college officials grapple with new campus gun law

 



 

***

Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday released her first TV ad of the runoff cycle, a 30-second introductory spot that highlights her 25 years living in Georgia’s 6th District.

“We just love this community. It’s home for us,” the former Georgia secretary of state said in the ad. “To be able to do good for the people of this district who aren’t just constituents to me, they are friends to Steve and I. It would be extraordinary and a real privilege.”

The ad was an implicit dig at Democrat Jon Ossoff, her opponent in the June 20 runoff, who has faced an onslaught from critics because he doesn’t live in the suburban Atlanta district. He lives a few miles south of the district near Emory University, where his fiancee attends medical school, and said he intends to move.

It was Handel’s first ad since she finished in second-place in the April 18 special election to land a spot in the runoff against Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide. National Republican groups have poured in millions to fill the void, worried that an Ossoff upset could be an embarrassing disaster for the GOP.

The race is already on track to cost more than $30 million, making it the costliest U.S. House contest in the nation’s history. Ossoff has laid out more than $6.6 million in advertising between April 18 and June 20, and on Tuesday he launched an attack ad targeting Handel’s “unforgivable” tenure with a breast-cancer charity.

Watch the ad here:

***

State Sen. David Shafer picked up a key endorsement in his bid for lieutenant governor.

The Gwinnett Republican earned the support of Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, a Republican mega-donor and one of the state’s most prominent business leaders. Marcus said he backed Shafer because “he understands the importance of job creation and growth to the success of our great state.”

The battle lines are being drawn in the race to replace Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running for governor.

Shafer seems more likely to consolidate support in the state Senate, with state Sen. Burt Jones – a potential rival – endorsing him last week and several other GOP senators backing off a run. He’s hoping to rally business groups behind him, too, with Marcus’ endorsement.

His main rival in the contest so far is state Rep. Geoff Duncan, who has his own key supporters. He’s lined up prominent House Republicans as well as aide from another well-heeled Republican donor: Health magnate Rick Jackson.

Former state Sen. Doug Stoner is among the Democrats eyeing the race.

***

The Washington Post bombshell that Donald Trump revealed highly-classified information to Russian officials broke just as House Speaker Paul Ryan was wrapping up his rally for Republican Karen Handel. But he was asked about another Trump controversy that has unnerved Republicans.

In an interview with WSB-TV, Ryan said he didn’t think a special prosecutor to probe allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 election was necessary because of three other active investigations pending in Congress and the FBI.

Democrats – and a handful of Republicans – have ratcheted up their calls for an independent probe after Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director Jim Comey.


View Comments 2