Thursday, October 21, 2021
69.5 F
Fort Worth

Appeals court hears challenge to Texas campus carry law

🕐 2 min read

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Attorneys for three University of Texas professors asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to revive their challenge of a law allowing people with concealed-handgun licenses to carry weapons on public university campuses.

Two of the professors, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter, were on the front row as a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard the arguments.

Last year, a federal judge in Texas dismissed the suit. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said Moore, Carter and Jennifer Glass offered “no concrete evidence” to substantiate concerns that having armed students in their classroom would have a “chilling effect” on the fee exchange of ideas.

Yeakel said that, because they failed to clearly show they were harmed by the law, they had no legal standing to pursue the suit.

Jason LaFond, arguing for the Texas Solicitor General’s Office, said Yeakel’s ruling should stand. He argued that the subjective fear of a student bringing a gun to the classroom doesn’t give them standing to challenge the law, he said.

“Lots of people fear flying,” LaFond told the panel. “That doesn’t mean it’s reasonable to think that a plane is going to crash.”

Renea Hicks, arguing for the professors, said they should have the freedom to control their classroom. And, he said, the law denies the professors the right to take steps against a very real danger. He mentioned campus shootings in Texas, Florida and Virginia Tech.

“We’re not asking for government protection. We’re asking for self-protection,” Hicks said. “The government won’t let them protect themselves” by banning guns from their classrooms.

He also said national studies and the views of national professional organizations, including the American Association of University Professors, attest to the harm guns in a classroom can do to academic freedom.

Judges Carolyn Dineen King, Leslie Southwick and James Ho heard the arguments. Ho appeared skeptical of Hicks’ arguments, questioning whether the law could be challenged because fear of guns might squelch free speech at a public park.

King was nominated to the appeals court by President Jimmy Carter, Southwick by President George W. Bush and Ho by President Donald Trump.

There was no indication when the appellate judges would rule.

Related Articles

Our Digital Sponsors

Latest Articles

Texas Rangers
Fort Worth Business Press Logo
This advertisement will close in
00
Months
00
Days
00
Hours
00
Minutes
00
Seconds
seconds..
Click here to continue to Fort Worth Business Press

Not ready to subscribe?

Try a few articles on us.

Enter your email address and we will give you access to three articles a month, to give us a try. You also get an opportunity to receive our newsletter with stories of the day.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date with the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in the Fort Worth.

  • Restaurants
  • Technology
  • and more!

FWBP Morning Brief

FWBP 5@5

Weekend Newsletter

  • Banking & Finance
  • Culture
  • Real Estate