Georgia professors urge court to overturn campus carry law

A group of senior Georgia university professors are seeking an injunction to overturn the state’s new law that allows lawful gun owners with concealed carry permits to carry firearms on public college campuses in the state.

The six professors, hailing from a handful of colleges within the University System of Georgia, filed the complaint Monday in the Fulton County Superior Court against Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Attorney Georgia Chris Carr, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The group of educators complained that campus carry poses a danger to faculty and students and argued the new law takes away the constitutional authority the USG should rightfully have over its campuses.

The professors also argued that guns on campuses could stifle free debate on controversial issues, could lead to more student suicides, and could poses a safety threat if a gun is accidentally fired in an area with hazardous materials.

Deal signed the controversial legislation, House Bill 280, into law in May, and the law took effect July 1. Under the new law, guns can be carried on all public college campuses but are not allowed in campus housing, including fraternity and sorority houses, athletic events, and pre-schools on campus. Areas used during disciplinary meetings and classes where high school students might be present are also exempt.

The bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Mandi Ballinger, said the history regarding campus carry would ultimately show the professor’s complaints to be unfounded, and Georgia state officials have so far not reported any incidents regarding gun owners firing weapons on campus.

While gun rights activists have championed the new law, many organizations that were opposed to it released statements Tuesday praising the professors’ complaint.

Officials from the USG released a statement saying that they were not part of the complaint and have been abiding by the rules set out by the new law.