As of July 1, stun guns and Tasers are now permitted to be carried anywhere on the campuses of Georgia's public colleges and universities. House Bill 792 is being called “Campus Carry Lite” a watered down version of House Bill 859, (Campus Carry)which was vetoed by Governor Deal earlier this year.
Although, this bill does not allow students to openly carry lethal firearms on campus, it still affects the lives of all students in public colleges and universities across Georgia. Stun guns do not require any formal training; back ground checks, or permits. Students and faculty need to be readily aware of the laws and regulations that dictate the use of stun guns.
The most importantly, students need to know if they use a stun gun as an offensive weapon they will be charged with the felony of aggravated assault, which cares a minimum prison sentence of 1 year, and a maximum sentence of 20 years. Certain circumstance dictate increased punishments for using a stun gun offensively, such as:
– Against a peace officer, correctional officer, or officer of the court: punishable by five years (and up to 20 years) in prison.
– Against a person 65 or older: punishable by three years (and up to 20 years) in prison.
– On a public transit vehicle or station: punishable by three years (and up to 20 years) in prison.
– While unlawfully taking cargo from a commercial transport vehicle: punishable by five years (and up to 20 years) in prison, a fine of $50,000 (and up to $200,000), or both.
– Discharging a stun gun at another person while in a moving vehicle: punishable by five years (and up to 20 years) in prison.
– Against a student or teacher in a school safety zone: punishable by five years (and up to 20 years) in prison.
– Against a current or former spouse or offspring, including stepchildren, adopted children, and foster children: punishable by three years (and up to 20 years) in prison.
– Against a child under 14 with the intent to rape the victim:; punishable by 25 years (and up to 50 years) in prison.
(Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-21.)
If you or a loved one plans to carry a stun gun with them on campus starting this fall you must have knowledge of the law. The “Campus Carry Lite” was written to provide students a means to act in self-defense to an attack on campus. The State of Georgia defines self-defense as:
A person is justified in threatening or using force against another person when, and to the extent that, he/she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself/herself or a third person against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. A person is justified in using force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if that person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself/herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Before you carry a stun gun on campus please, read and understand the laws that will affect you. If you use a stun gun on campus you must to be absolutely positive that your actions fall under the states definition of self-defense. As you or your loved ones are returning to college campuses across Georgia this fall remember if you are going to carry a stun gun on campus you carry a grave responsibility to act according to the law, and if you have to use this weapon, do so with knowledge of the potential consequences.