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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Texas AG: Law Is Clear—Professors Lack Authority To Ban Guns In Classrooms

Professors in Texas attempting to ban firearms in the classroom could be subject to punishment, Attorney General Ken Paxton stated Monday.

A lawsuit filed by three University of Texas professors had claimed the university’s rules were too vague to indicate how or whether individuals could be disciplined for forbidding guns in their classrooms. The professors’ attorneys claimed nothing in state law or UT policy expressly forbids professors from banning guns. 

But on Monday, counsel for the state and the university asked Judge Lee Yeakel to throw out the suit, saying the law is clear: Campus presidents can define limited campus gun-free zones—and if classrooms aren’t expressly designated off limits, carry must be allowed there. 

“Faculty members are aware state law provides that guns can be carried on campus, and that the president has not made a rule excluding them from classrooms,” Paxton wrote in a brief filed Monday. “As a result, any individual professor who attempts to establish such prohibition is subject to discipline.”