Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
In response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump suggested that the teachers carry weapons in their classroom to protect the students. Perhaps that would be Trump's response to the three University of Texas, Austin, professors, whose Civil Rights suit lost in a three judge panel 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. There, plaintiffs cited their First, Second, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were being violated by allowing students to carry concealed weapons into their classrooms on campus ("Campus Carry" laws). The plaintiffs lost at both the federal and appellate level. They are deciding whether to take this to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The UT professors claimed that students would not feel welcomed to speak their minds in class, and teachers would not feel welcomed approaching controversial topics and issues, in fear of being shot if a gun-carrying student disagreed with their position. They believe that a 2015 state law allowing licensed gun-owners to carry concealed weapons in to basically any room on a public university campus would have a "chilling effect" on a classroom's free speech.
But a federal district judge threw out their case in July 2017, saying the professors didn't present any "concrete evidence to substantiate their fears." The court claimed merely disagreeing with the law is not enough to give standing. Note, however, there have been other shootings on the UT campus, but those events didn't apply here.
The UT professors may not have standing to sue, but they, and other college professors, certainly have standing to fear. There are currently 10 states that have Campus Carry laws. There have been numerous shootings on college campuses, and the number will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. The most infamous recent college campus shootings are:
If you feel there are gun laws that violate your constitutional rights, as either a student or a teacher, contact a local Civil Rights attorney, who can listen to your case and provide you with the legal help you need.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.