Georgia lawsuit challenges state campus carry law. Arkansas anyone? | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Georgia lawsuit challenges state campus carry law. Arkansas anyone?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 12:02 PM

GUN PROTEST: A Georgia protest has grown into a lawsuit. Could it be replicated in Arkansas? - MYAJC.COM
  • myajc.com
  • GUN PROTEST: A Georgia protest has grown into a lawsuit. Could it be replicated in Arkansas?

A lawsuit has been filed in Georgia
challenging that state's law allowing concealed weapons on college campuses.

Six professors are challenging the law. They say it decreases their safety.

The legal rationale is interesting.

In combination, these provisions (collectively, the “Guns on Campus Laws”) therefore usurp the Board of Regents’ constitutionally conferred, exclusive authority over the “government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia.” Ga. Const. art. VIII, § 4, para. 1(b). And they interfere with the University System of Georgia’s educational
mission.
This is a state law and constitution issue. The full lawsuit is at my link to the Atlanta newspaper article.

But, as many have noted before, the Arkansas Constitution also contains an amendment giving constitutional independence to higher education institutions.

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas gives the history on Amendment 33. The article by our Ernest Dumas explains, with some emphasis supplied:

The amendment prohibited the governor from removing without cause any member of a board of an institution of higher learning or of the boards of correctional, penal, and charitable institutions. It prohibited the legislature from increasing or reducing the membership of an institution’s board, and the terms of members had to correspond to the number of members of the board—that is, five-year terms for a five-member board, seven years for a seven-member board, and ten years for a ten-member board, so that the term of only one member of each board would expire every year. It said that the powers of a board could not be reduced unless the institution was abolished or consolidated with another. A governor could fire a member of a board only for cause and only after the rest of the board approved it.
When the law on campus carry was still optional, the governing board of every college in the state voted repeatedly to keep guns off campus. The legislature finally passed a law in 2017 to override the colleges. It allowas concealed carry by those who gained additional training for their carry permits. The law is in effect, but the training program to qualify for campus carry is not yet in place so no legal guns are on campus yet.

As Dumas writes, the legislature and colleges have been in uneasy truce for years since adverse rulings against the legislature trying to take more power over colleges. Is a lawsuit possible today on the latest incursion, involving guns? No one has tried yet. The popularity of guns in Arkansas, not to mention the Arkansas Supreme Court's growing reluctance to overrule the legislature, are factors that enter into any discussion.

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