Campus Carry Texas
Beginning on August 1st, licensed gun owners will legally be allowed to carry their handguns onto the grounds of any four-year public university throughout the state of Texas provided they conceal their firearm.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill creating the law just last summer after many years of debate. Even after it was signed, it has continued to be a subject of controversy and public outcry, especially with the recent rash of tragic shootings throughout the United States.
While many universities and colleges are preparing for their respective fall semesters to begin, these same establishments are wondering exactly what this new law will mean for them. Alternatively, there are some schools who have decided to opt out of the campus carry law due to what they call their own list of safety concerns.
A lawyer in Houston, who is a gun owner, was recently quoted as saying that he himself doesn’t necessarily agree with the new campus carry law. However, at the same time, he feels that safe spaces on college campuses aren’t really necessary either. Although colleges should work to create areas that keep students and staff safe from both physical harm and fear, he feels that Texas’s campus carry law is antithetical to that goal.
Three professors employed by the University of Texas at Austin filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, UT Austin President Gregory Fenves, and the UT Board of Regents over the new law, in which they requested that a federal judge block the campus carry law from taking effect. In the lawsuit, they state that compelling professors to allow students to carry concealed firearms on a college campus essentially quashes their academic freedom and First Amendment rights to Free Speech. On the other hand, there are other professors who feel that these kinds of concerns are overblown, saying that fears like these are completely unfounded and that people should have the right to protect themselves if they need to.
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