Educational Property: School Safety Zone (GA)

The carry of weapons on school property is generally prohibited by Georgia [[xxviii]] and Federal [[xxix]] law with a few exceptions. “Weapon” in Georgia’s statute is defined extremely broadly and includes guns, knives with blades longer than 2 inches, stun guns and tasers, bats and several more items. [[xxx]]

Georgia defines a school safety zone as any real property or building owned by or leased to: (1.) any public or private elementary school, secondary school, or local board of education and used for elementary or secondary education; and (2.) any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education. [[xxxi]]

The exceptions to this statute apply mainly to governmental officials and law enforcement officers, but also allows for holders of weapons carry licenses to possess weapons in the school safety zone. [[xxxii]] However, there are limits on the areas that a Georgia weapons carry license holder can carry in a school safety zone and the manner in which they do so. [[xxxiii]]

Georgia weapons carry license holders can possess their firearm on school property when they are picking up or transporting someone, [[xxxiv]] or if it is within their control or locked in their car.[[xxxv]] They can not carry their weapon into buildings used for sporting events, student housing buildings including fraternity and sorority houses, [[xxxvi]] preschool or childcare areas, [[xxxvii]] faculty and staff offices, [[xxxviii]] administrative rooms, and classrooms used for special purposes such as dual enrollment classes or college and career academy. [[xxxix]]

Georgia weapons carry license holders who carry their firearm in violation of the limits of the school safety zone shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. However, first time offenders upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of $25.00 and not be sentenced to serve any term of confinement. [[xl]]