Texas faculty file lawsuit over campus carry law

Ga. faculty had pledged to resign

Three faculty members at the University of Texas filed suit in federal court Wednesday in an effort to bar concealed handguns from classrooms. A “campus carry” law in the state now allows them.

Under that law passed last year, handgun license holders will be able to carry concealed handguns in approved buildings on public college and university campuses in Texas. The law takes effect Aug. 1.

In the lawsuit, faculty members said the the possible presence of firearms will chill their manner of teaching and so infringe on their First Amendment right to free speech, particularly with controversial topics including abortion and homosexuality.

The objections are similar to those posed by faculty members in Georgia, who protested a campus-carry law the state Legislature passed this year. Some faculty warned they would resign if the bill became law, but the legislation was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Opposition like the Texas lawsuit is becoming more prevalent as additional states consider expanding gun-carry provisions through legislation.

Despite Deal’s veto of Georgia’s campus-carry bill, gun rights advocates are likely to continue pushing for guns on college campuses. In the meantime, legislation took effect July 1 allowing students to carry Tasers and stun guns on campuses. The bill, deemed “campus carry lite” was meant as an alternative for students wanting to protect themselves without using a lethal weapon.

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