To Carry or Not to Carry: Professors & Students Ask Texas to Rescind New Gun Law
In Texas guns can be carried onto campus grounds legally thanks to a new law that took effect earlier this month, but the group Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is challenging that policy.
SCC wrote a complaint to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, saying that the voluntary office ban on licensed, concealed firearms violates both the spirit and letter of the law.
In addition, the group sent letters to the University of Texas, the board of regents and multiple presidents of the campus: “We hereby request that enforcement of this policy cease immediately and that all references to it be stricken from official university literature and documents.”
In response , Paxton denied SCC’s request, saying: “There is no legal justification to deny licensed, law-abiding citizens on campus the same measure of personal protection they are entitled to elsewhere in Texas.”
As the Texas legislature and attorney general ignore these faculty and student’s plea to revoke the new concealed carry law, three professors have filed lawsuits to ensure the safety of everyone by asked the court to forbid guns in their classrooms.
These teacher fear that with societal tensions and the public’s fascination with firearms could prove to be a deadly cocktail.
And they’re not alone, a 2015 poll found that 37% of respondents agreed that guns should not be allowed on college grounds.
The question over whether or not professors and students should have a say in this gun-carrying on college campuses debate is drawing attention. As of August 1st, just one of the colleges in Texas have opted out of the allowance for concealed carry.
Amberton University, the only college to reject guns-on-campus said in a statement: “Amberton has no campus housing, no sporting events, no social clubs, and no dining facilities. The consumption of alcohol is prohibited on campus as is the use of illegal drugs. Considering the unique nature of the Amberton student and the campus environment, Amberton University will comply with Senate Bill 11 allowing individuals with valid handgun licenses to carry their concealed handguns onto the Amberton campuses and premises.”
In an op-ed piece, Professor Firmin Debrabander at the Maryland Institute College Art, pointed out that allowing guns on college campuses will be “deeply damaging to the country’s democracy.”
Debrabander continued: “The college classroom is meant to be a special space where all manner of ideas are aired, considered, and debated, and differences negotiated – through speech and argument – with no fear of violent recrimination, no fear of inciting angry students to draw their guns.”