Battle over where permit holders can carry their guns at the University of Texas at Austin

23 Dec , 2015  

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued an opinion on Texas’ new law that allows carrying concealed handguns on college campuses.  Some public universities, in particular the University of Texas at Austin, have already made initial recommendations.  The most important parts of the opinion are:

“. . . attending or teaching class is the primary reason most individuals are on campus.  If an institution prohibited.the carrying of concealed handguns .in a substantial number o f classrooms, a court would likely conclude that the effect would be to “generally prohibit” license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus, contrary to the Legislature’s express.”

“If an institution placed a prohibition on handguns in the institution’s residential facilities, however, it would effectively prohibit license holders in those facilities from carrying concealed handguns on campus, in violation of S.B. 11.”

As the Dallas Morning News notes:

. . . At least one school – the University of Texas at Austin – has taken steps to do so, with a working group recommending residence halls be off-limits for guns, with some exceptions.

Paxton’s opinion – a response to a request by Sen. Brian Birdwell, the Republican who authored the campus carry bill – doesn’t carry the force of law. But Paxton’s view could shape the measure, which goes into effect this fall and allows the licensed carrying of concealed handguns in most public campus buildings.. . .

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