Firearms on College Campuses?

A proposed bill may give students in Georgia the right to carry guns on college campuses. Student reporter Jessie Owensby finds out how such a law might affect students at Piedmont.


Listen to story.

radio broadcast on campus gun rights


Excerpt of interview with Dick Martin, chief of campus police:

Q: Are you aware of the current legislation in Georgia that would allow firearms on school campuses?

A: I don’t know the exact wording of it, but it’s something they have been trying to do for the past seven or eight years. Every year, when they go into session, they try to pass laws that will allow guns on college campuses, churches, and things like that. But so far, we have survived all that.


Q: In your personal opinion, are you against that or for it?

A: I don’t see any reason that students or professors would need to carry a gun on campus. I did a little research after you called me, and they polled Police Chiefs of College Campuses, and 86 percent of them oppose it, and I would happen to be included in that 86 percent.


Q: What is the current punishment for a student who gets caught with a firearm?

A: It really has never come up since I’ve been here. I have a feeling that in this day and age, that would be taken very seriously, and I would think unless there is a very good reason for it, that person would be in very serious trouble with the campus, but also with us as law enforcement officers.

Q: Hypothetically speaking, if Georgia was to allow guns on campus, would our policies change to adhere to that?

A: I don’t think our policies would change. If anything, in my way of thinking, it causes confusion to the responding officers. I mean it’s hard to separate the good guys from the bad guys when you walk down the hallway and you encounter somebody with a gun, and you don’t know if he’s on your side or the other side. I’ve heard of scenarios where just because people have the right to carry a gun, doesn’t mean they have been properly trained to react to those kinds of situations.