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UT Austin Professor Says He'll Step Down Due to Campus Carry Law

Pu Ying-Huang/KUT News
Members of UT Austin faculty spoke out against the state campus carry law at a forum hosted by the university earlier this week.

An economics professor at the University of Texas says he won’t return to teach next fall because of the state’s new campus carry law.

Microeconomics Professor Daniel Hamermesh says he only planned to stay at UT-Austin for a couple more fall semesters anyway, but he says getting new professors to come here will be the problem.

“This makes UT look like a bunch of crazies," he says. "This makes the choice of coming to the university less attractive, and that’s going to hurt the university and hurt public higher education in Texas.”

Hamermesh says he loves his students — his class has almost 500 — but he feels he risks being shot at by an angry undergrad.

The Texas Legislature passed the law earlier this year, which allows people over 21 with concealed handgun licenses to carry in certain campus buildings approved by a public university. Supporters of the measure say it will improve campus safety. UT Austin says less than one percent of students have concealed handgun licenses. 

The University of Texas completed its campus-wide public forums on the law's implementation this week. The school will fully implement the law by August 2016.

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