US /

Texas Professor Quits Over New 'Campus Carry' Law

Other faculty also up in arms
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2015 5:22 PM CDT
Texas Professor Quits Over New 'Campus Carry' Law
Professor Ann Cvetkovich speaks during a public forum at the University of Texas campus as a special committee studies how to implement a new law allowing students with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms into class and other campus buildings, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Starting next summer, licensed gun owners will be able to carry concealed weapons into buildings at public universities in Texas; in 2017, the same will be true at community colleges. And at least one professor is not happy about the prospect of guns in his classroom: He's resigning over the "campus carry" gun law passed earlier this year, Inside Higher Ed reports. "As much as I have loved the experience of teaching and introducing these students to economics at the university, I have decided not to continue," Daniel S. Hamermesh wrote in a letter to University of Texas at Austin administrators this week. "With a huge group of students my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law."

Hamermesh is a Sue Killam Professor Emeritus of economics at the university, and he continues in the letter that he "cannot believe that I am the only potential or current faculty member who is aware of and disturbed by this heightened risk." But, as Inside Higher Ed notes, supporters of the new law say it will make campuses safer, because those carrying guns could defend against an active shooter. Seven other states have similar "campus carry" laws, including Oregon, where a shooter recently killed nine people at a community college. Since that shooting, other Texas faculty members have voiced their opposition to the state's new gun law, including a UT El Paso lecturer who's been protesting the law (including with a "no guns" sign outside his classroom) and another UT Austin professor who gave an interview warning that the law could "shut down free speech" in classrooms. Yet another wrote a Time op-ed on the subject this week; that professor is a member of UT Gun Free, an organization that is circulating an anti-campus carry petition and has held several anti-campus carry forums. (More Texas stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.