Uni students to carry sex toys in protest at gun law

AUSTIN, Texas • University of Texas students who pack sex toys to school to protest against a new law expanding the right to carry guns on campus will not be punished, university officials have said.

The protest, planned for the start of classes next year, is aimed at showing what organisers said is the folly of the state of Texas penalising people up to US$500 (S$700) for violating obscenity rules by having a sex toy on campus, while making it legal for a concealed handgun licence-holder to take a pistol into the classroom.

Nearly 8,000 people have signed up to strap sex toys onto their backpacks on Aug 24 next year at the university's flagship campus in Austin on the first day of the fall semester.

On Aug 1, a new, so-called "campus carry" law will go into effect, allowing people 21 and older with a concealed handgun licence to carry handguns in classrooms and buildings at the University of Texas, which has an enrolment of more than 214,000.

Licensed holders have been allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus, but not in buildings, for 20 years, the university said.

However, more than 300 faculty members have signed a petition saying they will refuse to allow guns in their classrooms.

Protest organiser and University of Texas alumna Jessica Jin, 24, wrote on the event's Facebook page that a dildo would be "just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play".

The university considers the movement political speech and will not interfere, an official said. REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2015, with the headline 'Uni students to carry sex toys in protest at gun law'. Subscribe