Submitted On: Sunday, August 28, 2016
Analyst: Gos, Michael/Lee College
In my last entry on this topic (Campus Carry Law V), I indicated that three professors at the University of Texas filed a lawsuit asking for a temporary injunction against enforcement of the new UT campus carry policy. A federal judge last week denied that request.
The ruling is only on the request for the preliminary injunction itself; the lawsuit remains and will be tried in the future. Likewise, the ruling is only about the Texas law, not other laws or legislation in other states on campus carry (there are seven other states with campus carry laws). But the judge's ruling suggests that the academic freedom argument has little chance of success.
In a written statement, the state attorney general, Ken Paxton has pointed out that faculty who refuse to follow campus policy on this issue could face disciplinary actions. His agency says the law is clear. It gives campus presidents the ability to designate each school's limited "gun-free zones," and if classrooms are not expressly included in campus policy as off-limits to firearms, then guns must be allowed there.
Meanwhile, students and activists opposed to the law protested the measure by carrying sex toys on campus on the first day of classes. Participants strapped dildos to their backpacks, handed them out on campus and held a midday rally to protest the law. UT’s rules prohibit displays or performances that are obscene, and state law bars the reckless display of obscene items.