Georgia senate committee approves 'campus carry' bill

Liberty Plaza is filled to capacity with attendees of a "prayer rally" led by Evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham near the state Capitol, in Atlanta, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. The rally was held as a powerful Georgia Senate committee is set to consider a bill allowing religious adoption agencies, schools, government workers and others to refuse services to same-sex couples without being penalized. The Senate Rules committee hearing is set for the same day Graham's father Billy Graham brings his "Decision America Tour 2016" to the Georgia state Capitol.

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia lawmakers are one step closer to allowing anyone licensed to carry a gun in Georgia to bring weapons onto public college campuses.

A Senate committee approved a measure on Monday that would permit those with concealed carry weapons licenses to bring their guns onto school property.

If signed into law, guns must remain concealed by the owner. Guns also would be barred from athletic facilities and student housing, including sorority and fraternity houses.

Critics of the measure say that allowing more guns on campus will only put students in harm's way.

Rep. Rick Jasperse, a Republican from Jasper who sponsored the bill, says people licensed to carry guns should also be able to defend themselves on campuses.

The bill could reach the Senate floor this week.