New Georgia laws in affect.
As of July, these new laws are now in place. Campus Carry is among the highest profile laws that were signed by Governor Deal following the 2017 legislative session. The controversial law expands the locations that licensed gun owners may carry concealed handguns onto college campuses.
The so-called “Campus Carry” law, H B 280, permits those with permits to carry hand guns into expanded areas of college campuses across the state excludes classes where High School students may be taking courses, sporting events, student housings including dormitories, fraternities, and sorority houses. It also excludes campus preschool or childcare spaces, and any offices, staff, and faculty areas including all rooms where disciplinary proceedings are being conducted.
Governor deal praised the “thoughtful consideration given by the General Assembly” for revising the previous bill that was vetoed bny the Governor last year. Supporters claim the bill is too restricted and infringes on constitutional rights, whereas opponents believe it goes too far.
Other laws that have taken effect as of July 1 include expansion of medical marijuana, expanded state recourse for failing schools, regulation of drone launch and landing sites, increase of penalties for acts against public safety officers, DUI mandates, and legislation to further entice private companies in the space race.
The DUI law may require that those who are convicted of DUI use a “mobile breathalyzer”. The device requires a negative breathalyzer before the vehicle can be cranked. It further requires blowing into the device every few minutes. The cost of the installation and the device will be absorbed by the convicted offender.
House Bill 481 expanded the state’s limitation for drone launches and landing. Drones, also known as UAV (Unmanned Ariel Vehicles) have become popular by both hobbyists and professional for a variety of uses. These drones are slowly being implemented by Amazon and other residential delivery companies. They are commonly used for aerial footage of television and movie productions. The law includes provisions for state agencies and departments to allow or prohibit landing of UAVs on public property, repeals any and all laws in conflict, and reinforces the current FAA regulations. The FAA regulations include registration of aircraft by the pilots, restricted use areas such as airports, and similar.
House Bill 338 provides for a mechanism by which an underperforming school can be managed by the state. The bill provides for a Chief Turnaround Officer and if the school continues to under-perform, it can be converted to a Charter school.
Senate Bill 160, also know as the “Back the Badge Act” provides additional penalties for laws against public safety officers. These include Police, Fire, Rescue, and EMTs.
Senate Bill 16 expands the definition for conditions that permit treatment of cannabis oil and are allowed in the State of Georgia. Cannabis oil is a derivatives of marijuana and the state still prohibits cultivation or oils for legally authorized patients. Therefore Federal law still supersedes state law in terms of transport of marijuana.
House Bill 1 provides additional incentives for commercial companies to utilize Georgia’s “Space Coast” for landing and launches. It further provides protections against private companies by anticipated “space tourists”.