Professors Hold Office Hours at Bar to Prevent Students from Bringing Guns

Tim Dionisopoulos | February 21, 2017
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In order to avoid a recent rule allowing students to carry guns on campus, some assistant professors at the University of Texas are holding their office hours at an on-campus bar that does not allow guns.

According to a report from Fox 7 in Austin, graduate assistants do not always have private offices where they can independently decide if students can carry firearms.

But under Texas law, establishments that make 51 percent or more of their profits through alcohol -- like bars -- cannot allow fire arms. By using a bar, these instructors have found a convenient loophole that allows them to legally prevent students from carrying guns in their presence.

Mark Sheridan, a grad student and instructor at UT-Austin, told Fox 7 he holds his office hours at the on-campus Cactus Cafe as a matter of safety.

“I see firearms if they're carried by someone who is legally eligible or carried by someone not legally eligible. I see it as a risk to my own safety, so I am just taking action to minimize that risk," Sheridan said.

Brian Bensimon, the Southwest regional director for the pro-Second Amendment campus advocacy group Students for Concealed Carry, said these instructors are actually putting themselves in a place where "they are actually more likely to be a victim of violence," and added he didn't think professors should find "loopholes" to avoid this law.

Campus carry has been allowed in Texas since August. According to an extensive report on this topic in the Houston Chronicle, there has been only one firearm discharged on a Texas campus that was related to the campus carry legislation.