Just weeks before a Campus Carry law is set to go into effect, three University of Texas professors filed a lawsuit against the bill in the hopes of halting it. The law, which was approved in June 2015, mandates that all licensed gun owners aged 21 or older will be allowed to carry concealed weapons onto public higher education institutions in Texas.
The all women group of professors filed the lawsuit. They cited a student’s right to academic freedom, which they felt would be hindered by this bill, stating that many classes are filled with emotionally charged subjects. Students may feel unsafe expressing their opinion or views in a classroom with guns present. The plaintiffs filed against the law’s sponsor and the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton (who later called the suit an insult).
With the prevalence of gun violence in this country, many are confused as to why legislators would such a law, especially when it affects young adults. Legislators reasoned that the 'Campus Carry' mandate is actually good for students, because it could prevent a mass school shooting. The reasoning is that one person’s gun could stop an active shooter.
In addition, the law further extends second amendment rights for Texan citizens. Second amendment rights are important for a red state like Texas, but this law ignores the fact that many collegiate students are under constant stress, many students may have undiagnosed mental health issues, and most campuses include parties that can get out-of-control—that is not exactly conducive conditions to safely owning and using a firearm. The 'Campus Carry' bill also does not address how the law will be enforced, where guns will/will not be allowed on campus and how they will ensure every student with a gun has undergone a proper background check.
What is similarly strange is the time that the law was set to go into effect. Campus Carry not only becomes effective in the summer, a time that is more prone to violence than any other season, but it also comes on the 50th anniversary of a University of Texas Austin shooting. In 1966, Charles Whitman killed 16 people from the top of a clock tower on campus. This law might make it all too easy for that incident to repeat itself.