Appeals Court Upholds Carrying Guns on TX Campuses

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Texas’ campus carry law, delivering another clear victory to the state in a longshot, long-running lawsuit brought by University of Texas at Austin professors. Three professors argued that a 2015 state law that allows licensed gun-owners to carry concealed weapons into most public university buildings would have a “chilling effect” on free speech in their classrooms.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Texas’ campus carry law, delivering another clear victory to the state in a longshot, long-running lawsuit brought by University of Texas at Austin professors opposed to the law, the Texas Tribune reports. In 2016, three professors claimed that a 2015 state law that allows licensed gun-owners to carry concealed weapons into most public university buildings would have a “chilling effect” on free speech in their classrooms. A federal district judge threw out their case last year, saying the professors didn’t present any “concrete evidence to substantiate their fears.” A three-judge panel last week rebuffed the professors’ free speech claim as well as two other constitutional challenges they had made.

“[The professors] cannot manufacture standing by self-censoring her speech based on what she alleges to be a reasonable probability that concealed-carry license holders will intimidate professors and students in the classroom,” Judge Leslie Southwick wrote. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision. “The lawsuit was filed because the professors disagreed with the law, not because they had any legal substance to their claim,” Paxton said. “The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed for all Americans, including college students, and the 5th Circuit’s decision prevents that right from being stripped away by three individuals who oppose the law enacted by the Legislature.” The professors had also made a Second Amendment claim that the campus carry law was unconstitutional because guns on campus were not “well regulated”; and a Fourteenth Amendment complaint, that the professors were denied equal protection under the laws because there was no “rational basis” for where guns were allowed — on public campuses but not most private schools, for example. The appeals court found both arguments unconvincing.

from https://thecrimereport.org