Texas College Students May Soon Be ‘Packing Heat’

FORT WORTH (KRLD/CBSDFW.COM) – College students and professors could soon be ‘packing heat’ at universities across the state. The senate and house are both expected to approve a bill that allows those with proper permits the right to carry guns on campus.

Proponents say the move could possibly deter a ‘Virginia Tech’ type of situation, referring to the 2007 rampage, by a student, that left 32 people dead.

Opponents, including Texas Christian University (TCU) Professor John Harvey, think passage of the bill will make state campuses less safe. “How anyone can think this will increase security has to be a nutcase,” said Harvey. “All you’re gonna do is give guns to a bunch of unstable kids or [have weapons in] a situation where liquor is going to be prevalent and people are gonna shoot each other.”

More than half the members of the Texas house are backing the bill that Harvey says will make it easier for a potential shooter, even if that person isn’t the one with the concealed handgun license. “You can imagine if the people carrying a gun to campus would, some of them would be kinda open about the fact. Using it to sort of show off that they have a gun,” Harvey said, as an example. “Well gosh, now the shooter doesn’t even have to bring one [a gun] with him. We have somebody right there, ya know, bringing the gun onto campus.”

He says those carrying wouldn’t be trained in how to deal with an active shooter on campus…only in how to shoot the gun.

Charles Cotton, with the National Rifle Association, disagrees with Harvey and says though there have been no studies that guns can make campuses safer. “I do think there is at least a good correlation with the schools, primarily in Colorado but in Utah as well, that have allowed guns on campus for quite some time and there hasn’t been a shooting there,” said Cotton.

Cotton says the training for a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) is more about understanding Texas gun laws than about encouraging students to shoot. “How to disengage… how to keep from getting in a confrontation… the shooting portion of the class is really nothing more than a test.”

Cotton feels carrying a gun on campus is not just about preventing a Virginia Tech tragedy, but more about protecting students and faculty who have to be on campus late at night.

Actual victims of the Virginia Tech shooting have lobbied in Austin against the measure.

The University of Texas, in particular, has a troubled history of students bringing handguns on campus. In 1966, a sniper shooting from UT’s clock tower killed 14 students and in September of 2010, a University of Texas student went on a shooting rampage before killing himself in the school’s library. No one else was hurt.

If the law is passed, Texas would become the second state to pass such a broad-based law that would affect 38 public universities and an estimated 500,000 students.

  • Chuck

    Wow, guns and alcohol allowed on campus, but a college student can still get kicked out of their dorm room and lose student financial aid for possessing marijuana?

    • someothername

      Licensees who drink aren’t licensees.

      Do you have a big problem with drunks in class now?

      Why do you object to teachers, professors/faculty and staff being armed just like we are when we sit behind you in a movie, in church, or stand behind you at the bank or lines at Walmart, Grocery stores etc?

      CHLs can legally carry in liquor stores, how often do you hear of problems there? Surprise, most licensees don’t even drink.

      You have an overactive imagination.

    • NoObamaIn2012

      Kids in college with booze have had cars for decades and look how many they kill and injure – thousands. What is the harm in allowing those old enough with CHLs from packing? After all any 18, 19, 20 or 21 year old can be drafted into the military, handed a gun and sent to war…the real war is here at home and it gets worse every day.

  • Kevin Nguyen

    i see a bunch of nerds going postal on their bad grades / not a good idea

    • someothername

      You mean Teachers Faculty and Staff who are armed? Very few students meet qualifications for licensing.

  • Lisa

    Schools are at the top of my list of places where guns don’t belong! This is not going to make anyone safer. We can’t be ruled by paranoia–leave the guns at home and go to school to learn!

    • Not Worried

      Or, get a license, carry a pistol, and learn in safety. Remember that one must be at least 21 yrs of age to get a license, so last years high school grads don’t qualify until they’ve made it at least to their junior year of college.

    • someothername

      Tell that to the hundreds of people who have shot unarmed teachers, faculty and staff and students at schools… When you get THEM to comply, it will be safer. until then, allow the responsible ADULTS who passed the requirements for licensing be able to carry to defend themselves just like they were standing in line at the bank or grocery store behind you.

  • Drina

    Promoting myth that government is out to take all the guns away and an armed population is a safe one. It’s just the NRA (which is the firearms industry political lobby) at work again. Sell guns to anyone of any background, of any age. More negative corporate influence on American life with profits being the only value.

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/texas-college-students-may-soon-be-%e2%80%98packing-heat%e2%80%99/ Texas College Students May Soon Be ‘Packing Heat’ « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Texas College Students May Soon Be ‘Packing Heat’ Students and professors could soon be ‘packing heat’ at universities across the state. Proponents say the move could deter a ‘Virginia Tech’ type of situation. Opponents think the proposed bill will make campuses less safe. Go to News Source […]

  • Gary

    You must be at least 21 years of age, pay for a required class, pay for fingerprinting and background checks at the state and federal levels, never have committed a crime much above speeding, demonstrate competence with the weapon, and can not have consumed alcohol in any amount if carrying. Fees alone are about $200 plus the cost of any pistol. It isn’t easy to get a license. Texas now has 25 million residents. About 400,000 of them currently have a CHL. How many of them are actually enrolled in a college at the moment? I think this is a non issue except that some crazy might think twice if he thought that his targets might be shooting back.

    • Christie

      YOu are so right! Thank you for the positive and intellectual reply. I only wish the majority could see if our way!

  • Ray Proska

    This has got to be one of the stupidest ideas the Texas House has come up with. But they are Texas politicians. I agree with Professor Harvey. Guns and alcohol do not belong together. I currently have a daughter at A&M and I know a lot of the students there are against this. Why don’t these so called leaders ask what the students think.

    • someothername

      I know over 1,300 A&M students at the main campus support it.
      A&M Galveston and another campus passed resolutions supporting it.
      Maybe they will ask the students, Students are tired of being raped, robbed etc all over the country. Right now you have to leave your gun in the car and hope your car isn’t burglarized while you are in class.

      Why are you concerned about guns and alcohol being together since licensees have been able to be armed in liquor stores for years, however not many adult licensees drink, and those that do, have caused no problems.

      Is it that you see a lot of drunk people (faculty and staff) in class already? I’d not sign up for that course. More Professors qualify for licenses than students do.

    • Texas Aggie

      You are very wrong about Texas A&M students being against it. They are one of the leading college campuses fighting for this.

      Guns and alcohol do not mix but the young men and women that are for this won’t be out at the Chicken then shooting down University. The ones that would do that won’t be getting their CHL but may already be carrying.

      Do you people really think no having a license will keep someone from carrying a gun that wants to?

  • Ray

    This has got to be one of the stupidest ideas the Texas House has come up with. But they are Texas politicians. I agree with Professor Harvey. Guns and alcohol do not belong together. I currently have a daughter at A&M and I know a lot of the students there are against this. Why don’t these so called leaders ask what the students think.

    • someothername

      Ray, this is a duplicate of your post above.. saying it twice doesn’t make it a more compelling argument.

  • Lynn

    Do the legislators believe that ensuing gun fire during a surprise attack will play out like choreographed movie/TV scenes? When did we regress to the wild, wild West? This is a BAD idea!

    • someothername

      Obviously you have never been in the situation of hiding under a desk or laying on a floor while someone walks desk to desk executing people and you are “waiting your turn”

      I have been laid out on the floor while gunmen walked about doing as they please. You might research Dr. Suzanna Hupp too, she can explain it to you.

  • Mike

    Important facts that are purposefully omitted from the article and from discussion on the topic. CHL holders in Texas are well vetted and are held to a a high standard with the law. As far as concerns of ‘kids’ wanting to ‘show off’ the gun.. Texas Penal Code 46.035 makes it an offense for a CHL holder to intentionally fail to conceal a handgun.

    – is at least 21 years of age;

    – has not been convicted of a felony;

    – is not charged with the commission of a ,Class A or Class B misdemeanor or an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or of a felony under an information or indictment;

    – is not a chemically dependent person;

    – has not, in the five years preceding the date of application, been convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code;

    – is fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun;

    – has not been finally determined to be delinquent in making a child support payment administered or collected by the attorney general;

    – has not been finally determined to be delinquent in the payment of a tax or other money collected by the comptroller, the tax collector of a political subdivision of the state, or any agency or subdivision of the state;

    – has not been finally determined to be in default on a loan made under Chapter 57, Education Code;

    – is not currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting the spousal relationship, other than a restraining order solely affecting properly interests;

    – has not, in the 10 years preceding the date of application, been adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a penal law of the grade of felony;

    – disqualification of an individual for being a chemically dependent person if other evidence exists to show that the person is a chemically dependent person.

    – disqualification if has been diagnosed by a licensed physician as suffering from a psychiatric disorder or condition that causes or is likely to cause substantial impairment in judgment, mood, perception, impulse control, or intellectual ability;

    – disqualification if inpatient or residential substance abuse treatment in the preceding five-year period;

    – disqualification if diagnosis at any time by a licensed physician that the person suffers or has suffered from a psychiatric disorder or condition consisting of or relating to:

    (A) schizophrenia or delusional disorder;

    (B) bipolar disorder;

    (C) chronic dementia, whether caused by illness, brain defect, or brain injury;

    (D) dissociative identity disorder;

    (E) intermittent explosive disorder; or

    (F) antisocial personality disorder.

  • someothername

    There are more “actual victims” of Virginia Tech who are members of the “Virginia TEch Students for Concealed Carry on CAmpus” than are paid by the Brady campaign who showed up here to tell Texas that they should keep the same bans which allowed Cho to roam freely on Virginia Tech’s campus.

  • http://topsy.com/dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/02/21/texas-college-students-may-soon-be-packing-heat/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Texas College Students May Soon Be ‘Packing Heat’ « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by cbs11news D/FW, Michelle Rodriguez, Addison Wheeler, licosuave1, kentchapline and others. kentchapline said: RT @cbs11news: TX college students could soon be allowed to carry handguns on campus.http://bit.ly/huCO2a #dfwnews […]

  • 2nd Amendment

    I would like to see a federal conceal carry permit that would supersede state laws. I would go as far to say the besides the common sense rules of carrying, that you add quarterly qualifications and mental evaluation to the menu and full background checks and also make it part of the cost of getting one. The cost would be steep, but it would rule out some of these would be crazies i bet.

  • Sherry

    Whoever thinks if it has a gun, nothing will happen ….it doesnt work that way! Infact its worse in Colleges as there is lot of anxiety from work/study & during exams, assignments, arguments everyday between students or with teachers & it will only be worse with weapons in buildings, increasing every1s chances to die NOT to live!

    • someothername

      This argument:
      “there is lot of anxiety from work/study & during exams, assignments, arguments everyday between students or with teachers”

      Are you saying that no school shootings have occurred ever because the gun free zone signs work?

      Your adult licensed trained individuals who underwent Local, State and Federal background checks are not likely to go crazy over a grade. They have excellent track records and in all the colleges where concealed carry IS ALLOWED, your fears have never occurred, unlike the gun free zone school where they HAVE occurred, so you are saying keep it that way?

  • Skymarshal

    The optimist sees “Gun-Free” zones as places where gun violence has been made impossible through enactment of legislation.

    The realist sees them as places that advertise to the criminal that they can commit a crime without fear of an armed victim.

    There is no logic that can justifiy the limitation of where CHL holders can carry.

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