A Nobel prize winning professor at the University of Texas at Austin has said that he will do what he can to ban guns in his classrooms even though this is against the campus carry law that comes into effect in Texas in August this year.
Steven Weinberg has stated that he understands that taking this stance could leave him open to a lawsuit but it is his opinion that he would eventually win that lawsuit and therefore go on to set a precedent.
“I am willing by my own actions to expose myself to this,” he said. “Let’s have it heard. We should allow the courts to decide it.”
Officials reviewing the law at University of Texas Austin were not convinced that Steve’s would not break the law. Steven Goode and UT-Austin law professor said “I think that the notion that a First Amendment claim would win in court against [the campus carry law] is an illusion, I think it is an extraordinarily weak argument.
According to Matthew Watkins Article in the Texas Tribune:
The campus carry law, which goes into effect Aug. 1, requires colleges to allow people with concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons in campus buildings. University presidents can declare some rooms or buildings gun-free, but those declarations can’t have the cumulative effect of banning guns campus-wide.
Many faculty members, especially at UT-Austin, have urged their presidents to ban guns in classrooms.
At UT-Austin, President Greg Fenves appointed a task force to review the law and suggest rules. That task force has recommended banning guns in dorms and allowing professors to ban guns in their individual offices. But it said that bans in classrooms went too far.
Fenves, who hasn’t yet weighed in, said on Monday that he expects to propose his rules by mid-February. But in comments to the faculty council, he indicated that he would have to stick with state law. When asked whether professors can require students with handguns to sit in the back of the classroom, for example, Fenves said he didn’t think so.
“As a public university, I am obligated to seeing that we carry out the law,” Fenves said.
So, it seems that the campus carry battle will carry on right into and beyond August when it comes into effect. Particularly with a view towards guns in classrooms as is the case here. With Parents, Staff and Students all concerned about safety on campus unable to agree completely on the right course of action.
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Source: www.huffingtonpost.com – Article in the Texas Tribune by Matthew Watkins