Speaker won't change campus carry bill

ATLANTA (AP) — The leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives said his chamber will not pass changes to a bill allowing licensed gun holders to have weapons on college campuses.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal expressed concerns about that measure, which already has been approved by lawmakers and awaits Deal’s response.

WABE-FM reported that Republican House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge is concerned about gutting the “entire intent” of a previously approved bill by making more changes during the last two days of the 2016 session.

Ralston said Deal didn’t share his concerns about weapons being brought into day cares, disciplinary hearings or office space until the bill had passed.

Meanwhile, a coalition of faith leaders held a news conference Monday to call on the governor to veto the bill. They said the bill would not make campuses safer places. The coalition said they stand with the presidents and campus police chiefs of all 29 University System of Georgia institutions in opposing the bill.

House Bill 859 would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus. It does not include dorms, fraternity and sorority houses, or athletic events.

Ralston said he expects Deal to sign the measure. Deal hasn’t committed to signing the bill or vetoing it.

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