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Lawsuit filed over campus carry

This ought to be interesting.

Three University of Texas at Austin professors sued their university and the state on Wednesday, claiming Texas’ new campus carry law is forcing the school to impose “overly-solicitous, dangerously-experimental gun policies” that violate the First and Second Amendments.

The professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter — are asking a federal judge to grant an injunction that would block the law before it goes into effect on Aug. 1. In the suit, professors say they teach courses that touch emotional issues like gay rights and abortion. The possibility of guns on campus could stifle class discussion, which is a violation of the First Amendment, the suit says.

“Compelling professors at a public university to allow, without any limitation or restriction, students to carry concealed guns in their classrooms chills their First Amendment rights to academic freedom,” the lawsuit says.

The suit also cites the Second Amendment, which is usually cited by gun-rights supporters to bolster ideas like campus carry.

“The Second Amendment is not a one-way street,” the suit says. “It starts with the proposition that a ‘well-regulated militia,’ (emphasis added), is necessary to the security of a free state. The Supreme Court has explained that ‘well-regulated’ means ‘imposition of proper discipline and training.'”

The suit adds: “If the state is to force them to admit guns into their classrooms, then the officials responsible for the compulsory policy must establish that there is a substantial reason for the policy and that their regulation of the concealed carrying of handguns on college campuses is ‘well-regulated.’ Current facts indicate that they cannot do so.”

The professors also claim that the law violates the 14th Amendment, which promises equal protection under the law.

A copy of the lawsuit is here; Ken Paxton’s response to it is about what you’d expect. I Am Not A Lawyer, but this seems like a stretch to me. Has any court ever bought that argument in litigation? Maybe it hasn’t really been tried before, which would not be particularly encouraging if true. I mean, anything can happen and I don’t suppose it can hurt to try, but I would not bet money on a favorable outcome for the plaintiffs. The Press and the Austin Chronicle have more.

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