When Texas’ conservative Legislature passed a law requiring public universities to allow concealed guns on campus, it also gave the state’s private institutions of higher learning the chance to follow suit. None has so far.
More than 20 private schools have said they won’t lift their gun bans when the law takes effect this August, including the state’s largest private universities that have religious affiliations and often align with the type of conservative values espoused by the politicians behind the law.
The opposition has not surprised top Texas Republicans who championed the law as a matter of constitutional rights and self-defense. But it reflects a widespread belief even among conservative university leaders that guns have no place in the classroom.
Baylor, Texas Christian and Southern Methodist universities have all declined to allow guns on their campuses.
“My own view is that it is a very unwise public policy,” Baylor President Ken Starr, a former prosecutor and judge best known for his work on the Whitewater investigation involving President Bill Clinton, said late last year. The Baptist school announced this month that guns would not be allowed on campus.