Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Injunction Sought Against Texas Campus Carry Denied by Judge

Friday, August 26, 2016

Injunction Sought Against Texas Campus Carry Denied by Judge

In July, University of Texas at Austin professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore, and Mia Carter filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and UT officials to block the implementation of a recent change in Texas law that permits campus carry for those with a license in most portions of public university campuses. In particular, the professors took issue with the fact that the law does not empower individual professors to restrict carry in the classrooms they use.

In their complaint, the professors first contend that permitting individuals to exercise their Right-to-Carry in public university classrooms “chills [the professors’] First Amendment right to academic freedom.” The complaint suggests far-fetched scenarios where, in theory, a student could become so upset with the topic of classroom discussion that they are driven to homicidal violence. This potential, the plaintiffs argue, will force them to dampen the intensity of classroom debate. Notably, the cases cited by the plaintiffs in arguing that the First Amendment offers a robust defense of academic liberty involve government attempts to censor academic expression, not self-censorship brought about by the prejudices or fevered dreams of the educators themselves.

At least as creative as the plaintiffs’ interpretation of the First Amendment is their interpretation of the Second. The complaint contends that the plaintiffs “have a constitutional right to protection under the ‘well-regulated’ component of the Second Amendment.” In essence, the complaint argues that the Second Amendment, rather than protecting an individual right to keep and bear arms, imposes an affirmative duty on the government to prohibitively restrict the right. According to the plaintiffs, the government has failed in this duty, as in their opinion, “regulation of handgun possession and use is notoriously lax and inefficient.”

Even if one entertains this erroneous interpretation of the Second Amendment, other questions arise. If, as the plaintiffs’ bizarre theory holds, the Second Amendment imposes an affirmative duty on the government to regulate firearms, who would determine the nature and severity of such regulation? One might reasonably consider this the purview of the state legislature. However, here the plaintiffs seem to suggest that courts should determine the scope and character of firearms regulation, when the state legislature fails to sufficiently restrict firearms. This argument is a remarkable, albeit flimsy, attack on the basic notion of separation of powers. The plaintiffs also advanced spurious Fourteenth Amendment claims.

On August 8, Paxton and the UT responded with separate motions to dismiss the case. The attorney general’s motion pointed out the flaws in the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, noting that the “First Amendment is only violated by state action, not private conduct.” The motion goes on to make clear, “Plaintiffs are complaining that the presence of concealed carry violates their right to academic freedom, but the State is not responsible for an individual’s decision to conceal carry in a classroom or not.”

Paxton’s motion expertly countered the plaintiffs’ foolish interpretation of the Second Amendment. The motion to dismiss noted, “The Second Amendment is a floor, not a ceiling. The amendment restricts the government from infringing the right of the people to keep and bear arms; it has absolutely nothing to do with the government deciding to allow its people to bear arms to a greater extent than required by the Second Amendment.”

Rebutting the plaintiffs’ Fourteenth Amendment claims, Paxton’s motion explained that the Texas Legislature’s decision to tailor where an individual may exercise their Right-to-Carry on state property is a rational and legitimate exercise of legislative authority. In countering the plaintiffs claim that the campus carry law should be void for vagueness, Paxton pointed out that “countless” other state laws operate in similar fashion.

On August 22, United States District Judge Lee Yeakel denied the professors’ request for a preliminary injunction, ensuring that qualified UT students would be permitted to exercise their Right-to-Carry at the start of the fall semester on August 24. 

In rejecting the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, Yeakel noted that Texas’ campus carry law, and the manner in which the UT has chosen to enforce it, “is not a content-based regulation of speech, nor can it reasonably be construed as a direct regulation of speech.” Addressing the vagueness claim, Yeakel found that a “person of ordinary intelligence” would understand the requirements of the campus carry law as administered by the UT. The court also found the plaintiff’s contention that the state did not have a rational basis in how it has tailored restrictions on the Right-to-Carry unpersuasive, noting, “It appears to the court that neither the Texas Legislature nor the Board of Regents has overstepped its legitimate power to determine where a licensed individual may carry a concealed handgun in an academic setting.”

IN THIS ARTICLE
Texas Campus Carry Ken Paxton
TRENDING NOW
Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

On Wednesday, longtime gun control extremist Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the latest version of her perennial bid to rid America of its most popular types of rifles, as well as the standard capacity magazines that ...

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

On August 28, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Bill Blair, his minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, to examine the feasibility of “a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in ...

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

Monday, January 14, 2019

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

With the 2019 Wisconsin Legislative Session convened, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are already working with legislators to pass sweeping gun control.

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

News  

Hunting  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

Capitulating to radical, anti-gun extremism has become acceptable to some within the business community in recent years, especially for companies that seem to care little about our rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.  We’ve seen banks ...

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

We have seen a generation of gun-grabbers rise and fall. The new generation of gun-grabbers are pushing for the same tired and baseless policies that won’t so much as inconvenience criminals. We understand the emotional ...

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

Take Action  

News  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

This week two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called “universal” background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

Friday, January 11, 2019

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

The 2019 Oregon Legislative Session will convene on Monday, January 14th, and anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed numerous bills to infringe upon your rights and more bills are expected in the coming weeks.

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

Friday, January 11, 2019

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

On January 10th, Illinois state Senate President John Cullerton removed a hold on a bill potentially to make the unprecedented move of attempting to send a bill passed by the previous legislature to a newly ...

Virginia: Gov. Northam’s Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Committees

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Virginia: Gov. Northam’s Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Committees

This week, committees in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly will be hearing an array of bills that are part of Governor Ralph Northam’s agenda to impose sweeping gun control in the Commonwealth.  The ...

Washington: 2019 Session Convened, Committee Hearings Scheduled

Monday, January 14, 2019

Washington: 2019 Session Convened, Committee Hearings Scheduled

The 2019 Washington Legislative Session convened today, January 14th, and anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed and scheduled hearings for bills that will infringe upon your Second Amendment rights.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.