Georgia professors sue Governor Deal over campus carry

Matthew Enfinger

Six Georgia professors are suing Governor Nathan Deal and Attorney General of Georgia, Christopher Carr for the passing of the “campus carry” law back in May.

The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 25 against campus carry which allows students over the age of 21 to conceal carry firearms on campus with a few exceptions.

The group of professors- three from the University of Georgia, two from Valdosta State University and one from Georgia Southwestern University-are represented by Atlanta attorney Jennifer Bunting-Graden.

Purpose of the lawsuit:

The lawsuit’s main argument is that the campus carry takes away the University System of Georgia’s constitutional power stated in the Georgia Constitution.

The court document reads:

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>Article VIII of the Georgia constitution vests the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia ( “Board of Regents” or “Board”) with exclusive power over “[t]he government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia.” Ga. Const. art. VIII, § 4, para. 1(b</p>” id=”8b0e5ff4-23e4-4387-92df-ae0bca5864b3″ style-type=”quote” title=”Pull Quote 1″ type=”relcontent”}}

The professors within the lawsuit have many concerns with the presence of concealed weapons in their classrooms.

According to the court documents, John Knox, UGA geography professor,  believes that guns in the classroom make the learning environment less safe and negatively impacts his educational mission.

Knox is also concerned that allowing guns on campus will lead to an increase number of student suicides.

Other professors such as Michael Noll and Aristotelis Santas of VSU plan to relax vigorous debate and controversial topics within their classrooms due to their concern of distressed students acting irrationally with concealed weapons.

William Whitman, UGA microbiology professor, is concerned that an accidental misfire damage expensive equipment and explode hazardous products within his laboratory.

President Hebert response:

When asked to comment, President Jaimie Hebert differed to the University System of Georgia’s response to the lawsuit:

“While the University System opposed the campus carry legislation, we are not a party to this lawsuit,” USG said in a statement. “To be clear, we are abiding by the law just as we abided by the previous law that prohibited guns on campus. This lawsuit does not represent the position of the University System of Georgia.”

The professors involved in the lawsuit declined to comment.