Georgia lawmakers back bill allowing guns on campuses

ATLANTA — Georgia lawmakers sent Gov. Nathan Deal a bill on Friday that would permit licensed gunowners to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses, hoping they’ve made enough changes to win over the Republican who vetoed a similar measure last year.

The House and Senate both approved the compromise measure after midnight Thursday, the traditional end to the legislative session, following several hours of closed-door debates between members for both chambers.

Georgia is among 17 states that ban weapons on college campuses. Republicans, who hold majorities in the General Assembly, argue that’s a violation of Second Amendment rights and people who’ve gone through the state’s licensing process should be able to carry a weapon if they choose.

Some lawmakers involved in negotiating the final bill said they were “confident” that Deal will sign it. A spokeswoman for the governor wasn’t immediately available. Deal hasn’t taken a firm stance on this year’s measure, only suggesting that he was working with lawmakers.

This year’s version adds exemptions for on-campus preschools, disciplinary hearings and areas where high school students attend college classes. Deal said last year that he wanted lawmakers to exempt those areas.

The bill also preserves exemptions included in last year’s bill that would prevent weapons in student housing, including fraternity and sorority houses, and athletic facilities.

Deal has 40 days to decide whether to sign, veto or allow the bill to become law without his signature.

“This is an example of the legislative body and the executive branch working together,” said Sen. Frank Ginn, a Republican from Danielsville. He was a part of a small group of lawmakers from both chambers who met Thursday night to negotiate details of the bill.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge, said the decision is still up to Deal.

“It’s an improvement,” he said. “It’s strengthened our Second Amendment protections here in Georgia.”

Critics of the bill contend that allowing guns on campus would create an unsafe environment for learning and critical thinking. Many point to studies that signal a potential increase in killings and suicide due to the additional presence of guns.

Deal likely will face lobbying from officials with the University System of Georgia, which has opposed the bill. Chancellor Steve Wrigley repeatedly told lawmakers that campus police chiefs felt the change would make their jobs more difficult and wouldn’t make campuses any safer.

Anti-gun-violence groups also made a coordinated effort to contact Deal last year. Lindsey Donovan, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action, said volunteers will “make sure Gov. Deal knows that he has our support in stopping this legislation.”

“Governor Deal said that it would ‘require overwhelming justification’ to allow guns on campus,” Donovan said, referring to Deal’s lengthy veto message. “That justification didn’t exist a year ago and it certainly doesn’t exist now.”

Only public colleges and universities will be required allow to abide by the law, private institutions determine their own policies regarding guns on campus.

This was the fifth year that a bill of this nature was discussed in the Georgia General Assembly but only the second year it has passed both chambers.

“I think it is an important step forward for our Second Amendment rights in the state of Georgia,” said Rep. Mandi Ballinger, a Republican from Canton who sponsored the bill. “It is an important public safety measure.”

Georgia lawmakers back bill allowing guns on campuses

Deadline for homestead exemptions is Monday

The deadline to file for homestead exemptions, personal property reports, agriculture covenants and taxpayer returns of real property with the Hall County Board of Assessors Office is Monday.

Normally the deadline is April 1, however, since April 1 falls on Saturday, property owners have until the following business day. Official postmarks of the USPS of April 3 will be accepted as timely filed.

Only the regular homestead exemption can be applied for online. To do so, log on to hallcounty.org then go to the Tax Assessors page and look for the “Online Regular Homestead Application” link.

All other homestead exemptions must be applied for in person at the Tax Assessors office at the Hall County Government Center.

Owners of boats, personal watercraft, aircraft or businesses are required to file the personal property reporting form on or before April 3.

Contact the Tax Assessors office at 770-531-6720 for more information.

Deadline for homestead exemptions is Monday

Esto es lo que pasa cuando no sabes de fútbol y te mandan a hacer un reportaje en la MLS

La estrella alemana Bastian Schweinsteiger fue presentado como nuevo jugador del Chicago Fire de la MLS (EE.UU.) y en la rueda de prensa recibió una insólita pregunta que generó carcajadas entre los presentes.

Esto es lo que pasa cuando no sabes de fútbol y te mandan a hacer un reportaje en la MLS

Washington Street to close overnight Sunday through Wednesday

Washington Street in Gainesville will be closed for crosswalk improvements overnight starting Sunday.

The street will be blocked from the intersection at E.E. Butler Parkway between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday. The road will reopen each morning at 6:30.

Motorists are advised to watch for construction crews and proceed carefully in the area.


Washington Street to close overnight Sunday through Wednesday

Medvedeva revalida el título mundial y sigue la senda de la legendaria Kwan

La rusa Evgenia Medvedava revalidó el título de campeona del mundo que conquistó el pasado año en Boston (Estados Unidos) al colgarse este viernes la medalla de oro en los Mundiales que se disputan en Helsinki.

Medvedeva revalida el título mundial y sigue la senda de la legendaria Kwan

Harrison califica de “lamentable” el arbitraje en partido contra Brasil

El presidente de la Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol (APF), Robert Harrison, calificó hoy de “lamentable”, el arbitraje del partido de Paraguay ante Brasil, donde el equipo guaraní fue derrotado 3-0 y ve disminuidas las oportunidades para clasificar al Mundial de Rusia.

Harrison califica de “lamentable” el arbitraje en partido contra Brasil

Muere entrenador de fútbol sala golpeado por familiar de un jugador

Fernando Pereiras, entrenador de un equipo juvenil de fútbol sala del Club Unión de Munro, de la provincia de Buenos Aires, falleció hoy tras ser golpeado este domingo por un familiar de un jugador del equipo rival, Club Industrial de Munro.

Muere entrenador de fútbol sala golpeado por familiar de un jugador

Expreparador físico de Argentina vuelve a criticar a Mascherano

Carlos Dibos, expreparador físico de la Albiceleste (2006-2008), criticó hoy nuevamente al centrocampista Javier Mascherano, a quien acusó de interferir en el armado del equipo, y sostuvo que el jugador del Barcelona debería renunciar al seleccionado.

Expreparador físico de Argentina vuelve a criticar a Mascherano