A new law in Georgia will allow sports fans with concealed firearm permits to carry handguns during tailgating events at public universities beginning July 1, USA Today reported. The new law, however, will not allow handguns to be permitted inside athletic events.
University of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley addressed how the law would affect Bulldogs football games.
In a memo, Wrigley wrote, "Whether you opposed or supported this legislation, it will soon be state law. While current law already allows license-holders to keep weapons secured in motor vehicles, House Bill 280 will allow anyone who is properly licensed in the state of Georgia to carry a handgun in a concealed manner on property owned or leased by public colleges and universities with some exceptions. It will not allow any other type of gun to be carried around campus; nor will it allow handguns to be carried openly.”
Wrigley also addressed that the main exceptions to the law “includes stadiums, gymnasiums and similar facilities in which intercollegiate games are staged (but does not extend to so-called 'tailgating' areas where fans may congregate outside the gates of the sports facility)."
It also does not extend to student recreation centers and similar facilities that are not used for intercollegiate games.
As Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the law earlier this month, he said the intention of the law was aimed to protect students, saying, "assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection.”
Georgia isn't the first state to enact such a law. A few months ago, Arkansas passed a similar law that allowed concealed carrying of firearms at stadiums. The House of Representatives passed an amendment giving exemptions to colleges and universities.