Professors file lawsuit in Fulton County against campus carry law

[private]A group of six University System professors has filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court seeking to overturn Georgia’s recently enacted campus carry law.

The professors are suing Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Chris Carter and asking the court to declare the law unconstitutional and stop state officials from enforcing it.

HB 280, which allows the carrying of firearms on public college campuses, was passed by the General Assembly this year and signed by Deal; it took effect on July 1.

The lawsuit argues that HB 280 and the corresponding section of the Georgia code are unconstitutional because they “usurp the Board of Regents’ constitutionally conferred, exclusive authority over the ‘government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia.’ . . . And they interfere with the University System of Georgia’s educational mission.”

“The Georgia Constitution vests ‘[t]he government, control, and management of the University System’ in the Board of Regents, not in the legislature,” the lawsuit states. “As Defendant Deal himself acknowledged when he vetoed HB 280’s predecessor in 2016, this question of education policy is therefore for the Board to resolve, in conjunction with the faculties to which it has delegated responsibility for governance of University System institutions.”

Deal, on the other hand, has contended that the bill he signed in May is constitutional.

The Board of Regents opposed both campus carry bills that were passed by the Legislature in 2016 and 2017, but has instructed universities to comply with the new law.

No hearing date has been set on the lawsuit, which was filed by John Knox (a gun owner and a tenured professor at the University of Georgia), Michael G. Noll (a tenured professor at Valdosta State University), James Porter (a professor emeritus at the University of Georgia), Laurel Robinson (a tenured professor at Georgia Southwestern University), Aristotelis Santas (a tenured professor at Valdosta State University), and William B. Whitman (a tenured professor at the University of Georgia).

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


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