AUSTIN (KXAN) — One day after three University of Texas at Austin professors filed a lawsuit to keep guns out of their higher education classrooms, attorneys for the new law say they’ll fight to make sure it is implemented.
Dr. Jennifer Lynn Glass, Dr. Lisa Moore and Dr. Mia Carter claim the campus carry law will “prohibit Plaintiffs from exercising their individual option to forbid handguns in their classrooms.” They go on to say the law violates the First Amendment.
Starting Aug. 1, all students who are eligible to conceal carry will be allowed to do so on public university campuses. Classes at the university begin Aug. 24.
“It’s not about the broader issue of carrying guns on campus, I’m sure they have views about that; but the lawsuit is not about that, it’s about whether they have the option as public university professors to tell students you can’t bring guns into my classroom,” Renea Hicks, one attorney representing the three professors says.
It’s an argument the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says is baseless, and the author of the campus carry law agrees.
“It’s kind of ironic that college professors think that they have the authority and the right to decide they’re not going to abide by a law that the Texas Legislature and the people of Texas have passed,” Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Houston, says. “As far as I’m concerned, good luck because they’re not going to have any luck.”
Hicks, however, says his client’s First, Second and Fourteenth amendment rights are being violated.
“People have a Second Amendment right. Under our view, if they’re going to be forced to live with guns, then the gun process of possession and use has to be well regulated and I think there are very few people in this country who would say it’s a well regulated,” Hick says.
One of the plaintiffs in the suit, Lisa Moore talked about the issue in a February interview.
In a statement, Paxton said he will “vigorously defend” the law.
Even though UT President Greg Fenves has issues his recommendations, the UT Board of Regents has yet to decide what areas on campus will be gun-free. The board is expected to make a decision at their next meeting on Wednesday.
Attorneys say if the regents do not give professors the option to turn away guns form their classrooms, they will move forward with a temporary injunction before classes resume.