A University of Texas dean has announced he’s leaving the school, mostly because of the new state law that will allow legal concealed firearms to be carried in public college classrooms beginning in August.
A few days ago, we reported that the new rule was openly opposed by the school president and some administration, but was required at the public university by the new state law.
Fritz Steiner, dean of the Texas School of Architecture, has been named dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and said he wouldn’t have considered leaving if not for the new law, according to this story from Fox News.
“I thought I would be responsible for enforcing a law I don’t believe in,” Steiner said in the story.
Texas lawmakers voted in 2015 to compel public colleges to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry in college buildings and classrooms, extending their ability to defend themselves and exercise their constitutional rights in public schools.
Steiner told Fox he’s not anti-gun, but doesn’t want them in the halls of higher education.
“I grew up hunting. My father was a Marine and a policeman. I’m not a stranger to firearms in any way,” Steiner said in the story. “I grew up believing there was an appropriate place for guns and it was not in a place of higher education and higher learning.”
Students for Concealed Carry issued a statement that didn’t directly address Steiner’s resignation, but criticized educators “overwhelmed by unjustified fear.”
“Intellectually, these professors are no different than someone whose actions are defined by an irrational fear of sharks, witchcraft, or vaccines,” the gun rights group said.
According to this story from kbtx.com, the University of Houston is having some qualms over the new law as well. The school’s Faculty Senate adopted a resolution last year that opposed the law, stating, “the diverse academic communities and free academic discourse are especially threatened by the presence of deadly weapons in teaching, research, and living spaces.”
The story quotes Jacob Smith, a teacher at the university who supports the law, saying that other states already allow guns on campus and have not seen any gun-related confrontations between students and faculty.
“It’s an absolutely unfounded fear,” he said in the story.