Texas professors say campus carry law violates constitutional rights, file suit
- Citing infringement upon their 1st and 14th Amendment Constitutional rights, three University of Texas at Austin professors have filed a federal lawsuit to prohibit the state’s new campus concealed carry law.
- The professors say the natural discourse in college classrooms on controversial and emotional subjects will make instructors change the tone and topics for fear of violence in academic space.
- Critics say the lawsuit is overblown, and that the new rules will allow faculty and other students to defend themselves against potential violence in the classroom.
All colleges and universities are responsible for the safety and well-being of students on campus, so in Texas, school officials would be wise to wade through case law on school shootings and carry law to find any potential liability they may face for gun violence at their schools.
The campus carry legislation unfolding in Texas and other states, however, is a prime example of legislators imposing laws on institutions of higher education that do not help the institutions fulfill their missions and may create an impediment to doing the job.
The new laws in Texas, and other states which may follow, will force the issue on massive budget shifts to student counseling and mental health resources, public safety personnel, and security technology to prepare for the increased likelihood of campus shootings with the new carrying laws. Casualties may be limited if many people on campus are actually carrying guns, but the media impact and campus culture change that could result from the deaths of a victim and a shooter can be long-lasting and legally problematic.
- Houston Chronicle Three University of Texas professors sue to block campus carry law