LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - In light of the yesterday's shooting at Florida State University many people are asking whether students should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus.
Those in favor of the idea believe it would reduce the number of campus shootings. Those in opposition believe they would only increase.
Professor Arnold Loewy is the George R. Killam Jr. Chair of Criminal Law at Texas Tech. He says there are multiple ways the Texas legislature could implement concealed carry laws on campus, but he is not sure guns and universities are compatible.
“The nature of universities is such that I think guns are incompatible with it. My own view is I think I'd be less safe if people were allowed to carry guns,” Loewy said. “The second amendment doesn't permit you to have a gun whenever, wherever and however you feel like having them, and I think certainly one of the places where you could preclude it is on college campus.”
There are various forms of the law that could be implemented. They include allowing guns around campus but outlawing them in the classroom, allowing only professors to carry concealed guns or allowing them anywhere on campus.
Professor Loewy says allowing the University to choose would be an important factor.
“I believe that every restaurant is permitted to do that, every supermarket is permitted to do that, every shoe shop is permitted to do that, I don't think it's too much to say that a university would have the same power as those enterprises,” he said. “Certainly there's nothing in the second amendment which would preclude government from permitting carry the only question in the second amendment is how much of the second amendment compels allowing carry and so far the supreme court decisions have not been limited to the right to bear arms in one's home.”
Professor Loewy believes if students are allowed to carry concealed weapons it may stifle discussion in class as well.
“Apart from the risk of injury, and people can certainly debate whether or not you're safe with guns, I think it would tend to stifle discussion,” he said. “As a law school professor I try to get my students to think about problems and I sometimes try to get them to comment on what other students have said. I think a student not knowing whether the person that has just said something is carrying a gun or not would be less likely or less willing to comment than they are today, and I think that's a real problem.”
Professor Loewy believes if a bill is introduced by legislators during the upcoming legislative session in Austin, it would have the support to make it to the Governor's desk for a signature.