Carrying Guns on College Campuses pt. 3

8:11 AM College Lawyer Blog 0 Comments

MONDAY 2/29/16

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI


In part 2 of our series of articles discussing campus carry, we noted that the state of Texas will have legislation passing during August of this year which makes it legal for students who possess concealed carry permits to carry guns on Texas college campuses.

The controversy surrounding the debate about whether or not students should be allowed to carry guns on college campuses has not slowed. In fact, many faculty members of universities in Texas have spoken out with vehement criticism of the state’s impending campus carry law.

In fact, one faculty member, Frederick Steiner, has actually made the decision to leave the University of Texas and Steiner says the campus carry law had a substantial influence on his decision to leave. After almost 15 years at the University of Texas, the current dean of the school of architecture has accepted a position at the University of Pennsylvania. In regard to campus carry, Steiner had this to say: "It's not like there are a bunch of pheasants roaming around the campus, it's not a hunting environment. It doesn't seem to be appropriate to this kind of place" (Visser).

Steiner is not the only person at the University of Texas who is not in favor of the impending campus carry changes. President Gregory Fenves, who has spoken out before against campus carry, said that he "… [does] not believe handguns belong on a university campus” but that he must comply with the law.

Many in the world of academia are concerned that freedom of expression will be limited due to fear. In regard to this concern, Steiner said "How do you criticize someone when you know or suspect that they have a firearm? …people can lose their tempers. That's not a situation where a firearm would enhance the experience" (Visser). Professors at the University of Houston were advised to take precautionary measures as a response to the new law. The faculty senate at the university said that professors should “be careful discussing sensitive topics; drop certain topics from your curriculum; go to appointment-only office hours; only meet ‘that student’ in controlled circumstances.” Furthermore, the faculty senate warned that “It’s in your interest and the University’s interest to be very guarded and careful about this issue” (Dart).

But faculty members and university officials are not the only ones concerned with the ramifications of an impending legalization of campus carry. Students are worried as well. One student, Nora Dolliver, declined an offer of admission to the University of Texas because of the impending legalization of campus carry (Dart).

At this time, it is unclear to what extent the legalization of campus carry in Texas will affect universities. Students, such as Dolliver, may be discouraged from applying to Texas schools. Proponents of campus carry predict that the law will prevent campus shootings, while critics believe that the campus carry law will increase campus shootings. An unsettling reality of the issue is that only time will tell the real effect and full consequences of a campus carry law.


For more information on Campus Carrying Laws read part one and part two of our series right here on CollegeLawyerBlog.com 

Part One: http://www.collegelawyerblog.com/2016/01/thursday-12116-mount-pleasant-mi.html
Part Two: http://www.collegelawyerblog.com/2016/02/carrying-guns-on-college-campuses-pt-2.html


Samantha Heuring
Levitt Law Firm, Law Clerk

Tyler Webb
CLB Editor-In-Chief
Levitt Law Firm, Senior Law Clerk 


Visser, Nick. "University Of Texas Dean To Leave State, Citing Concerns Over New Campus Carry Law." HUFFPOST COLLEGE. Huffington Post, 25 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Dart, Tom. "Texas Academics Told to Avoid 'sensitive Topics' If Gun Law Goes into Effect." The Guardian. N.p., 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.


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