Court Rejects “Campus Carry” Claim

A federal judge in Texas has dismissed a lawsuit filed by three University of Texas at Austin professors seeking to overturn the state’s 2015 “campus carry” law, which allows licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns inside most public university buildings. It’s covered by Matthew Watkins in the Texas Tribune.

The suit claimed, among other arguments, that the presence of guns in classrooms stifles freedom of speech, by chilling the discussion of controversial or emotional topics. The article says the suit was a long shot, but the court did not address any issues besides the free speech claim, perhaps leaving the door open for other avenues to challenge the statute.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hailed the decision.

Community colleges are presently implementing the law, which takes effect in August for two-year schools. Gun-free zones are permitted, but such prohibitions reportedly can not include classrooms or faculty offices. The law stipulates that only licensed carriers of concealed weapons can bring their weapons into campus buildings. To get a license you must be at least 21 (or in the military), pay a fee, and submit to a brief training regimen.

So far, firearms policy is not included in the agenda for the forthcoming Special Session.