Second Amendment and Campus Carry is topic for UNT Constitution Day program

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 14:43

What: "Second Amendment & Campus Carry: Rights v. Safety?"-- The University of North Texas' Constitution Day program, featuring speakers from Texas Home Shield and Texas Gun Sense  

When: 11 a.m. Sept. 15 (Thursday)

Where: Lyceum of UNT's University Union, located at 1155 Union Circle. Overflow seating with Skype broadcast is Room 250H in UNT's Willis Library, 1506 W. Highland Street

Cost: Free

Contact: UNT Department of Political Science at 940-565-2276 or

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas will observe Constitution Day at 11 a.m. Sept. 15 (Thursday) with a discussion of the Second Amendment and the campus carry law.

The law, which became effective Aug. 1, allows holders of concealed handgun licenses to carry their firearms on Texas' public postsecondary campuses. Texas joined seven other states in having campus carry.

The free program, "Second Amendment & Campus Carry: Rights v. Safety?," will be held in the Lyceum of UNT's University Union, located at 1155 Union Circle in Denton, with overflow seating and a Skype in Room 250H of UNT's Willis Library, located at 1506 W. Highland St.

The event is being sponsored by UNT's Department of Political Science, Honors College and Center for Leadership and Service, and the Government Information Connection of UNT Libraries.

Constitution Day was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd to an appropriations bill, which mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programs on the history of the American constitution on or near Sept. 17.

UNT's speakers for its Constitution Day program are Emily Taylor, independent program attorney for Texas Law Shield, a legal services firm in Houston representing concealed handgun license owners, and Kathleen Thompson of Grapevine, an advisory board member of Texas Gun Sense, which works to reduce gun violence and promote effective gun laws.

Taylor is also an attorney at the law firm of Walker & Byington. She is a former assistant district attorney for Galveston County, where she was responsible for grand jury presentations, motions and hearings and plea negotiations, particularly in cases involving gun owners discharging weapons in self-defense. She frequently speaks to and instructs both law enforcement officials and civilians on firearms carry laws and use of deadly force, and she has been cited as an authority on firearms law in the national media.

Thompson, a Grapevine resident, is also a board member of the nonprofit and nonpartisan Dallas Democratic Forum, which brings public affairs programs to the North Texas region. Her writing has been published in the Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, New York Times and Texas Tribune, and she has been interviewed on other media in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

During the day, students in UNT's American government classes will receive pocket-size U.S. Constitutions. The small Constitutions will also be available at the Eagle Commons Library in Sycamore Hall, located at 307 S. Avenue B.