Pro-campus carry group considers rewarding students for filing complaints against professors who ban guns in offices

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Members of the activist group Gun-Free UT protest against campus carry legislation in October 2015.

Photo Credit: Thalia Juarez | Daily Texan Staff

A group in favor of allowing concealed handguns on campus is considering rewarding students for filing complaints against professors who ban guns from their offices.

SB 11, which goes into effect Aug. 1, allows for handguns to be carried on public Texas colleges by licensed holders. The bill allowed discretion as to which parts of campus would allow guns, and UT President Gregory Fenves decided to grant professors discretion to ban guns from their offices. 

Students for Concealed Carry, a pro-campus carry group, is planning to assist students in reporting professors who do not allow firearms in their offices, according to a statement in the Dallas Morning News from Antonia Okafor, Southwest Regional Director for the organization. Okafor said SCC was considering rewarding the student who could document the most cases of professors banning guns from their office, possibly with a cash reward.

SCC was not available for comment.

University spokesman Gary Susswein said UT’s campus carry policies were well vetted by a qualified policy team and would withstand legal action by complainants. 

“It is within someone’s right to file a complaint if they feel that this policy is not compliant with the law,” Susswein said. “But our policy group was chaired by a highly regarded professor at [UT’s] law school and also included Wallace Jefferson, a former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice.”

Lisa Moore, an English and women’s and gender studies professor, co-founded Gun-Free UT, an organization made up of various UT community members against campus carry. 

“Universities are a sacred place of learning,” Moore said. “They should not have worry about how to manage a population that might be armed.”

Moore said she was appalled to hear SCC is encouraging students to find professors with anti-gun policies.

“It’s contrary to the mission of the University to engage in that kind of witch hunting,” Moore said. “[SCC] is trying to make people nervous and afraid by making the victims of some kind of surveillance. Its cynical, anti-intellectual, dangerous and rude.”

Health promotion junior Hayden Henry said he was in favor of campus carry but opposed it in offices.

“I see a professor’s office as his or her personal space, similar to how I see my dorm as my residence and therefore my space,” Henry said. “I believe [guns] should be allowed in dorms, but [professors] should have the ability to designate their office as a gun-free zone.”