The law, set to take effect on Aug. 1, authorizes holders of handgun licenses to carry concealed handguns on state campuses, subject to gun-exclusion zones designed by each school’s president. UT faculty members Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter sued to “retain the option of maintaining their academic classrooms as gun-free zones,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. They blasted “overly-solicitous, dangerously-experimental gun policies of the Texas Legislature and the insufficiently protective policies of UT-Austin’s President,” Gregory L. Fenves.
The lawsuit says the possible presence of firearms would chill the plaintiffs’ manner of teaching, thereby infringing on their First Amendment rights to free speech. This is especially the case, the lawsuit says, for courses they teach dealing with abortion, homosexuality and other topics that are often charged with emotion. Glass teaches in the sociology department, Carter and Moore in the English department.