U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Concealed Handguns Allowed in Texas College Classrooms

When it comes to guns, few states are as gung-ho as Texas. After all, Yosemite Sam was almost named "Texas Tiny" for a reason.

In keeping with the gung-ho mentality, the recent decision in Glass v. Paxton explains that a 2015 Texas law allows handgun owners with concealed carry permits to carry their concealed handguns on college campuses and even inside college classrooms.

The case focused on a challenge to that law due to the fact that teachers that wanted to ban guns in their own classrooms would face discipline from their institutions, and were prohibited from doing so.

Guns in the Classroom

The teachers challenging the law raised some rather straight-forward arguments. In short, the gist is that allowing guns in the classroom is likely to lead to the suppression of free speech of both students and professors due to fear of being shot during heated classroom debates. Unfortunately, for the teachers, the court found these arguments speculative because the teachers could not predict the future with certainty.

A Novel Approach to the Second Amendment

While there are some interesting takes on the Second Amendment, the plaintiffs in this action argued that the whole "well-regulated militia" part of the text of the amendment matters for the non-gun-toting folk. They argued that individuals who choose not to bear arms, have the right that those who do be subjected to being "well-regulated." The court did not agree, basically saying that the first part of the Second Amendment doesn't mean anything really. The Fifth Circuit citing SCOTUS's Heller decision explained: "The [prefatory clause] does not limit the [operative clause] grammatically, but rather announces a purpose."

It isn't anticipated that rehearing en banc will be requested, though a petition for cert. is almost certain.

Related Resources: