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In 2017, Georgia’s controversial campus carry bill was signed into law despite protest from the state’s Board of Regents, university officials, and students. Georgia is one of ten states that has implemented campus carry. Georgia’s campus carry statute is unique in that it may conflict with Georgia’s Constitution, which vests the powers of “government, control, and management” of the University System of Georgia in the Board of Regents. Georgia courts have not yet addressed what this provision of the Constitution means. This Note applies general principles of constitutional interpretation to the provision.

This Note analyzes the framers’ intent when drafting the provision in the 1940s and amending the provision in the 1980s. The history surrounding this constitutional provision is particularly informative because it was adopted after Governor Eugene Talmadge attempted to take over the university system in the 1940s. Some states have developed a university autonomy jurisprudence, which provides a preview of limits that a Georgia court may impose on the Board of Regents’ powers. After analyzing the effects of the campus carry statutory scheme, this Note concludes that one portion of the statutory scheme conflicts with Georgia’s Constitution, meaning the Board of Regents can implement further exceptions to campus carry.