US judge re­jects gun bans in var­sity classes

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

A US district judge has re­jected a mo­tion by a group of Univer­sity of Texas pro­fes­sors to block a law that al­lows stu­dents to carry guns in their class­rooms.

Un­der the new law, which was in­tro­duced ear­lier this month, hand­gun li­cence hold­ers aged 21 and older are al­lowed to bring their con­cealed hand­guns into class­rooms and other fa­cil­i­ties on the roughly 50 000-stu­dent cam­pus.

The pro­fes­sors tried to ban the so-called “cam­pus carry” law on the grounds that it harms aca­demic free­dom.

The pro­fes­sors also ar­gued that young peo­ple who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the col­lege life should not be given ac­cess to guns as it would be a recipe for dis­as­ter.

District Judge Lee Yeakel, how­ever, de­nied them the mo­tion, say­ing the aca­demics “have failed to es­tab­lish a sub­stan­tial like­li­hood of ul­ti­mate suc­cess on the mer­its of their as­serted claims.”

“It ap­pears to the court that nei­ther the Texas Leg­is­la­ture nor the (univer­sity’s) Board of Re­gents has over­stepped its le­git­i­mate power to de­ter­mine where a li­censed in­di­vid­ual may carry a con­cealed hand­gun in an aca­demic set­ting,” Yeakel noted.

Sup­port­ers of the law ar­gue that it could pre­vent mass shoot­ings on the cam­pus. This is while, higher ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials have voiced con­cern that it will dis­cour­age stu­dents from at­tend­ing uni­ver­si­ties across Texas.

“There is sim­ply no le­gal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to deny li­censed, law-abid­ing cit­i­zens on cam­pus the same mea­sure of per­sonal pro­tec­tion they are en­ti­tled to else­where in Texas,” At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ken Pax­ton, who is a Repub­li­can, said in a state­ment.

The pro­fes­sors also feared that the pres­ence of armed stu­dents would force them al­ter their class­room pre­sen­ta­tions on con­tro­ver­sial is­sues such as re­pro­duc­tive rights to pre­vent pos­si­ble vi­o­lence.

On Au­gust 1, 1966, the Univer­sity of Texas in Austin wit­nessed one of the dead­li­est mass shoot­ings in the coun­try’s his­tory, when stu­dent Charles Whit­man killed 16 peo­ple in a ram­page, gun­ning them down fir­ing from a perch atop a clock tower on the cam­pus. — PressTV.

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