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Texas AG: Professors who prohibit guns in class will be “subject to discipline”

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2015 file photo in Austin, Texas, protestors gather on the West Mall of the University of Texas campus to oppose a new state law that expands the rights of concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons on public college campuses and as of Aug. 1, 2016, they can carry in campus buildings. Texas' new law allowing concealed handguns in college classrooms, buildings and dorms has barely started and already faces a legal challenge seeking to block it before students return for the fall semester. Three professors at the university sued July 6, 2016 to overturn the law, claiming it is unconstitutional and is forcing colleges to impose "dangerously-experimental gun policies." The 50,000-student Austin campus has been a flashpoint of opposition to the law among faculty and students. (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

(Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

Even though Texas’ campus carry law went into effect on August 1, disgruntled professors at the University of Texas-Austin are still trying to find a way out of it. Last month, professors Mia Carter, Jennifer Glass, and Lisa Moore sued at the federal and state level to temporarily block passage of the law. They’ve all been warned that if they ban guns from their classrooms, as they are intending to do, they will face discipline, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“Faculty members are aware that state law provides that guns can be carried on campus, and that the president has not made a rule excluding them from classrooms,” attorneys for the university and Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote in a brief filed on Monday. “As a result, any individual professor who attempts to establish such prohibition is subject to discipline.”

In a back-and-forth with Judge Lee Yeakel, the state’s lawyers have asked for the lawsuit to be thrown out. The professors will hold a public trial over whether campus carry violates their free speech and equal protection rights. According to their lawyers, the UT campus carry rules are too vague to know if and how they might be punished for keeping gun owners away from their classrooms.

The law clearly states the campus president gets to decide what the “gun-free zones” are, and those areas not designated as such must allow guns. “The president is the sole individual authorized to establish gun exclusion zones on UT Austin’s campus. He has not designated classrooms as gun exclusion zones,” according to Paxton’s attorneys.

The resistance to campus carry is nothing new. Besides the lawsuit’s claims, professors and students involved with the Gun Free UT group, say that campus carry would “inhibit our freedom of speech,” threaten “educational freedom,” and “fuels white privilege.” Professors have also petitioned to ban guns from campus, quit their jobs, and called for all Americans to give up their guns.

Those with a dramatic and obscene attention-seeking flair will also participate in a “Campus (DILDO) Carry” event later this month.


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