Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Students and employees at colleges in Georgia and Texas colleges could be packing heat

A law that went into effect July 1 in Georgia allows students and employees to carry stun guns in buildings, dorms and classrooms at all public colleges, Janel Davis reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The stun guns allowed under the law, formally known as electroshock weapons, must be models that are commercially available, and not the more powerful weapons used by police and other law enforcement officers." (Reuters photo)

On Aug. 1 a Texas law went into effect allowing "anyone with a concealed handgun license in Texas to carry their weapons in most buildings, including classrooms and dining halls,"  Matthew Watkins and Madeline Conway report for The Texas Tribune. Private universities are allowed to opt out of the law, and all but one of the state's 37 private institutions have done so. The one school to allow guns, Amberton University, is a mostly online school for adults 21 and over that does not have any dorms, social clubs, sports teams or dining halls.

Three University of Texas professors who have sued for the right to ban guns in their classrooms were told last week that they will be punished if they attempt to do so, Lauren McGaughy reports for The Dallas Morning News. The professors argue that the state law doesn't explicitly forbid them from banning weapons. The schools' lawyer wrote in a legal brief, "Faculty members are aware that state law provides that guns can be carried on campus, and that the president has not made a rule excluding them from classrooms. As a result, any individual professor who attempts to establish such prohibition is subject to discipline."

Colorado, Idaho and Utah have laws allowing concealed guns on campus, but higher education institutions are allowed to ban weapons in certain areas such as dorms, dining halls and event centers, according to Armed Campuses. Tennessee, which allows residents to carry concealed guns, "prohibits a person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any firearm, not used solely for instructional or school-sanctioned ceremonial purposes, on any public or private school campus, grounds, recreation area, athletic field or any other property owned, used or operated by any board of education, school, college or university board of trustees, regents or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution."

In Oregon, Kansas, Wisconsin, Arkansas and Mississippi concealed guns are allowed by law, but schools limit locations and who carries them, states Armed Campuses. Many states allow schools to decide their own policies, while other states only allow guns in locked cars in parking lots. Only a handful of states prohibit concealed guns on campus.

No comments: