A panel of judges at U.S. 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans is set to hear arguments against the state’s 2015 campus carry gun law. Attorneys representing three University of Texas at Austin professors will make their case before the court on Wednesday.
The case involves three UT professors who asked the court to make the law unenforceable inside a college classroom because it infringes on their rights and their students' rights to free speech.
Last summer in Austin, Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel threw out the case filed against the state because, he said, the professors had not presented enough evidence to demonstrate their claims.
Renae Hicks, who represents UT Austin sociology professor Jennifer Glass, appealed that ruling to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court.
“Because of the mere threat of having weapons in the classroom, which can have high-charged discussions about highly-emotional issues can have an intimidation effect on both us — that is the professors, and the other students,” Hicks said.
Michael Cargil, owner of Central Texas Gun Works and a concealed handgun instructor in Austin, said these types of heated exchanges happen all the time in the state Capitol, a state building that already allows a concealed handgun owner to carry their weapon.
“So the classroom is not going to be any different as far as debates and people being able to express themselves,” Cargil said.
A 5th Circuit panel of federal judges will hear the professors' appeal Wednesday morning.