University Professors’ Legal Battle Over Gun Laws Ends in Defeat at Georgia Supreme Court

May 31, 2023
1 min read

The Gist: The Georgia Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit by five university professors challenging a change in state law that now allows guns on college and university campuses.

What Happened?: The professors filed a suit over a 2017 amendment that removed postsecondary educational institutions from the “school safety zones” in which carrying weapons was previously prohibited.

The professors alleged that this change required the Board of Regents and the University System to permit guns on campuses, contradicting their established policies.

They sought a declaration that the amendment was unconstitutional as it overstepped the Board’s authority to govern the University System. However, the state dismissed the suit, a decision now affirmed by the state Supreme Court, on the grounds that the issue became moot when the Board adopted gun-carrying policies in line with the 2017 amendment.

Why It Matters: The professors argued that there was a breach in the separation of powers that couldn’t be negated by the Board’s agreement with the new policy. While they cited several United States Supreme Court cases to back their claim, they also admitted that there is no existing Georgia precedent supporting this principle.

The court countered that the Board’s decision to adopt a policy in line with the legislative amendment made the professors’ challenge moot. This case underlines the ongoing debate about gun control and safety measures in educational institutions.

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