House Bill 280 passed the Georgia Senate on Tuesday by a 32-22 vote.
The bill is the latest attempt by legislators to allow concealed carry on college campuses. Under the bill, any weapons carry permit holder 21 and older would be able to carry concealed firearms virtually everywhere on campus, with exceptions to student and Greek housing, sporting venues and daycare facilities.
The Senate Judiciary committee also added buildings specifically for high school students as an additional exception.
Athens representative Sen. Bill Cowsert voted "no" to the bill after voting "yes" to a similar bill in 2016.
The bill has been met with wide opposition from students, faculty and adminstrators. Specifically this year, University System of Georgia Chancellor Steven Wrigley testified against the bill when it was in the House.
"With respect to campus carry, we feel strongly current law strikes the right balance to provide security on our campuses," he told legislators. "We therefore respectfully oppose any change to current law."
University of Georgia President Jere Morehead later endorsed Wrigley's testimony in an Archnews statement.
A similar bill last year, House Bill 859, made it through the General Assembly, but was vetoed by Deal on the last eligible day following protests.
Georgia U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson has also expressed opposition to the bill during a town hall earlier this month.
"Some of the recent proposals in the state legislature have proposed weapons in schools, and I just don't think that's the appropriate thing to do," he said.
With the current legislative session coming to a close, the bill will need to be voted out of the House by Thursday in order to reach Deal's desk this year.