Guns chill free speech, UT-Austin professors will argue at federal appeals court – KBTX

AUSTIN, Tex. (The Texas Tribune) –

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Guns chill free speech, UT-Austin professors will argue at federal appeals court” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

The controversial Texas law allowing students to bring guns into classrooms is facing another showdown as a lawsuit challenging the law heads to federal appeals court on Wednesday.

Two years ago, three University of Texas at Austin professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter — filed a lawsuit against state Attorney General Ken Paxton and several leaders of the UT System over a 2015 law that allows concealed handguns on college campuses. The professors argued the law infringed their First Amendment right to academic freedom, saying a “chilling effect” pervades their classes when students can bring guns into the room. The law went into effect in August 2016 and was immediately met with stiff backlash on campuses, particularly at UT-Austin.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, sought to block the law and allow the professors to prohibit firearms in their classrooms. A federal judge turned down the request and dismissed the case last year, saying the professors failed to provide evidence that guns infringe on the professors’ free speech or that they have the authority to nullify state law in their classrooms.

Marc Rylander, director of communications at Paxton’s office, called the lawsuit “frivolous” with “no legal standing” in a written statement.

“Last year, a U.S. District Court determined that a handful of professors could not deny a licensed, law-abiding citizen on campus the same measure

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