The new campus carry law allowing concealed guns on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin violates First Amendment rights protecting academic discussion, three professors contend in a lawsuit filed on their behalf by GBKH partner Jim George.
“Compelling professors at a public university to allow, without any limitation or restriction, students to carry concealed guns in their classrooms chills their First Amendment rights to academic freedom,” the lawsuit states.
“The intellectual give and take of campus debate” is protected, says Mr. George, who has won a number of high-profile First Amendment cases throughout his career.
Professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter say that Texas’ law requiring concealed-carry rights on campus are “dangerously-experimental” and that UT’s policies are “insufficiently protective.” They are seeking an injunction to block the law before classes begin this fall. The three women say they teach courses that touch on emotionally charged issues including gay rights and abortion, and guns on campus could stifle classroom discussion.
The lawsuit against Attorney General Ken Paxton, UT president Gregory Fenves and the Board of Regents, was filed July 6, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin. Along with Mr. George, Austin attorneys Malcolm Greenstein of Greenstein & Kolker and Renea Hicks of the Law Office of Max Renea Hicks, also represent the professors.