AUSTIN -- In a rally against campus carry, University of Texas faculty gathered en masse with picket signs on campus Tuesday, shouting "gun free UT."
Starting Aug. 1, Senate Bill 11 will allow people with a concealed handgun license (CHL) to carry in buildings on campus. Before then, each university in Texas must decide how it wants to implement the law. To help in his decision making, UT President Greg Fenves created a working group to study the issue and make recommendations. The group has already received 1,900 comments and hosted two public forums. About 1,000 professors have signed a petition in opposition of the campus carry law and have exploring legal actions.
"I'm a gun owner myself and I'm very much opposed to this. This is an academic marketplace in which guns have no place for a lot of reasons for one it's going to intimidate my students," said Professor Bryan Jones. "And faculty members as the argue controversial ideas."
The group behind Tuesday's rally, Gun Free UT, positioned their event in a section of campus that already allows concealed carry of handguns. Proponents of campus carry say the law will make schools safer, with people able to defend themselves if they're being robbed or in the event of a mass shooting.
The lawyers representing the UT professors are from the National Lawyer's Guild, a group known for fighting for civil rights.