March 3, 2016
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby Speaks Against House Bill 859
University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on House Bill 859, commonly referred to as Campus Carry, Wednesday afternoon. His testimony appears below:
Chairman McKoon and members of the committee, thank you for allowing me to provide testimony on this important measure before you today.
For many of you, it comes as no surprise how our institutions and faculty feel about firearms on campuses. The Board of Regents, our 29 presidents, our campus police chiefs, and many parents support the current firearm law for our campuses.
We feel strongly that current law strikes the right balance between creating a safe environment on our campuses while affording those individuals who are carry users a safeguard location. This position is supported by the experience of campus presidents and campus public safety departments, who are closest to the day-to-day realities and operations of the state’s public colleges and universities.
It is important to note that students and faculty at our institutions are served and protected by trained, POST-certified police forces. These uniformed officers go through the same training requirements that our local law enforcement officials do, with a more specialized focus on the campus environment and our student population. Our campus police officers will tell you that allowing students to have firearms on campus makes their job extremely challenging, particularly if an extreme emergency were to occur.
As a former member of the legislature, I can assure you that I understand the position on both sides of this important debate and appreciate your thoughtfulness as you consider this legislation.
Again, I want to thank you for allowing me to be here today to speak on behalf of our campus communities, which are vibrant, dynamic, and ever-changing environments. We are about educating students and increasing the number of Georgians who have completed college. To continue to do this, we must provide our students, faculty, and staff a safe environment, which is a responsibility that the University System takes very seriously.
The bottom line – we oppose this legislation.