Federal Court Rejects Professors’ Request to Block Campus Carry Law

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Mary Lou Lang Contributor
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The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas denied a request by three professors to block the enforcement of Texas’ new campus carry law Monday.

The court ruled that the University of Texas professors were unlikely to prevail in their lawsuit and were not entitled to a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the campus carry law, which went into effect August 16.

“I am pleased, but not surprised, that the Court denied the request to block Texas’ campus carry law. There is simply no legal justification to deny licensed, law-abiding citizens on campus the same measure of personal protection they are entitled to elsewhere in Texas,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in a prepared statement. Paxton was one of the defendants in the case.

“The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed for all Americans, including college students, and I will always stand ready to protect that right,” Paxton said.

The preliminary injunction was filed on July 22 and the plaintiffs were Dr. Jennifer Lynn Glass, Dr. Lisa Moore and Dr. Mia Carter.

The professors argued the campus carry law infringed upon their First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and due process rights.

On the First Amendment claim, the professors claimed the law “infringed upon their First Amendment right of academic freedom.”

The court in its ruling said the professors’ concerns should not override the legislature and the university where they work. The court stated it “found no precedent for plaintiffs’ proposition that there is a right of academic freedom so broad that it allows them such autonomous control of their classrooms—both physically and academically—that their concerns override decisions of the legislature and the governing body of the institution that employs them.”

Last year SB 11, which allowed for the carry of handguns on college campuses, was passed by the Texas legislature and signed into law by the governor last June. It became effective on August 16, 2016.