The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the Texas’ campus carry law, delivering a win to Texas over a measure that allows concealed handguns on college campuses.
A three-judge panel upheld a prior dismissal of a lawsuit filed by three professors at the University of Texas at Austin, which aimed to block the law and allow professors to prohibit firearms in their classrooms. Those three professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter — argued that the law infringed on their First Amendment rights to academic freedom and produced a “chilling effect” in their classrooms, among other things.
The state law went into effect in August 2016 and was immediately met with backlash on campuses, particularly at UT-Austin. In 2017, a federal judge dismissed the case and wrote in his decision that the professors couldn’t present any “concrete evidence to substantiate their fears” that guns infringe on their free speech or that they have the authority to nullify state law in their classrooms.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, one of the defendants in the lawsuit, applauded Thursday’s news, saying in a statement that the panel’s “decision prevents [the right to keep and bear arms] from being stripped away by three individuals who oppose the law enacted by the Legislature.”
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