UT students could get cash bounty for reporting professors

UT students could soon get a cash bounty for reporting professors who make their offices a gun-free zone.

A pro-campus carry group says that's one proposal they're considering. It's upsetting many faculty members who say their office is their home.

There are certain areas of campus where guns will be prohibited. UT Austin is the only university that included professors' offices, which is prompting this backlash. The University of Texas has left the decision up to the professors.

"This is a gun-free zone in my office," says Bryan Jones, UT government professor.

Government Professor Bryan Jones has made it clear.

"The office is private space. I'm not protective of it, I'm just practical about it. It just doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of the safety of my students and I don't like that. Or my own safety for that matter but I'm less concerned about that," says Jones.

Come August 1st, students who are 21 or over and have a license will be permitted to carry their concealed gun on campus.

Public universities were allowed to carve out some gun-free zones. In that, the University of Texas has included professors' offices. A group called Students for Campus Carry is fighting back with a controversial idea - a possible cash bounty.

"Give an incentive to students so they're able to report or file a complaint against professors who try to enact this unconstitutional law," says Antonia Okafor, Students for Concealed Carry, southwest regional director.

They plan to document incidents of wrongful exclusion on campus and send it over to the Office of the Attorney General, who would then determine whether to impose fines.

"Professors don't like it. Yes, I'm going to prohibit guns in my office. Maybe it will give one of my students a cash prize," says Jones.

The University of Texas sent us this statement today saying:

We believe our rules are fully compliant with state law. The campus carry working group that developed the recommendations that will become the university's policies was chaired by a highly regarded law professor and included a former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

"If I have a study group of three or four people and one of them has a gun, are their parents going to be comfortable with that? Are the other students going to be comfortable?" says Jones.

More than 1,700 faculty members and thousands of staff, students, parents and alumni have signed petitions against guns on the UT campus. Now it could be up to the courts to settle it.

"I'm a gun owner but I'm never going to bring a gun to my workplace. It doesn't make any sense," says Jones. 

The university says professors would have to give an oral notice to students if they prohibit guns. This is also something the pro-campus carry group disagrees with. They say it goes against the law as a whole.

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