U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel has ruled against three University of Texas (UT) professors who sought a preliminary injunction against campus carry on grounds that allowing armed, law-abiding students on campus poses a threat to First Amendment rights.
Campus carry became legal in Texas on August 1, and UT students with concealed carry permits will be able to carry when classes resume for fall semester this week.
Mia Carter, Lisa Moore, and Jennifer Lynn Glass tried to block campus carry by claiming it violated their First Amendment rights to academic freedom. But the Austin American-Statesman reports that Judge Yeakel “found no precedent for the professors’ argument that they have a right of academic freedom under the First Amendment so broad that it overrides decisions of the Legislature and the university that employs them.”
Carter, Moore, and Glass argued that “the possible presence of concealed handguns in class will inevitably chill discussion, thereby eroding their academic freedom.” But Yeakel found appeals to the First Amendment to be strained, at best. He said campus carry is not speech regulation, which means “the burden of which Plaintiffs complain … does not fit within any recognized right of academic freedom.”
Breitbart News reported that Carter, Moore, and Glass also appealed to the Second Amendment–arguing that campus carry was imprecise and went against a “well-regulated militia”–and they appealed to the Fourteenth Amendment, as well. Yeakel rejected arguments describing the law as imprecise and rejected claims that the professors’ “equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment [had] been violated.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.