University of Texas dean leaves school citing campus carry gun law

A University of Texas dean said Thursday he’s leaving the school to pursue a different job in large part because of the new Texas law that will allow concealed firearms in public college classrooms.

Fritz Steiner, dean of the Texas School of Architecture, was named dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He said he wouldn’t have considered leaving if not for the new law, which takes effect prior to the start of the fall semester Aug. 1.

"I thought I would be responsible for enforcing a law I don't believe in," Steiner said.

Texas lawmakers voted in 2015 to force public colleges to allow concealed handgun license holders to bring their weapons into college buildings and classrooms, despite vigorous objections from higher education officials, faculty and students across the state. Supporters said the law was a critical self-defense measure and protection of constitutional rights.

Steiner said he's not anti-guns, but doesn't want them in the halls of higher education. Texas faculty have worried allowing guns could have a chilling effect on academic freedom and frank discussions in classrooms.

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