‘Guns On Campus’ Bills Get Hearing In State House

AUSTIN (AP) – Proposals that would give Texas college students and professors the right to carry guns into the classroom are scheduled to get their first hearing in the Legislature on Wednesday.

The proposals would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons around campus, including in buildings and classrooms. Supporters say it’s a gun-rights issue and critical self-defense measure to prevent violent crime and mass shootings such as the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. Opponents, including some university administrators, say guns will only make campuses more dangerous.

The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety has scheduled a hearing to listen to public testimony Wednesday and possibly vote on a bill.

Texas has become a prime battleground for a national campaign to open campuses to firearms because of its gun culture and its size, with 38 public universities and more than 500,000 students. Texas would become the second state, following Utah, to pass such a broad-based law. Colorado gives colleges the option and several have allowed handguns.

The Texas Senate passed one such bill in 2009, but it died without a vote in the House. This year, more than half of the 150 members in the Republican-leaning House have signed as on co-authors of one of the bills, and the issue is supported by Gov. Rick Perry, boosting its chances of becoming law.

Similar firearms measures have been proposed in about a dozen other states, but all have faced strong opposition, especially from college leaders.

The chancellor of the University of Texas system recently wrote Perry and state lawmakers telling them school administrators do not want guns on campus.

Until the Virginia Tech killings, the worst college shooting in U.S. history occurred at the University of Texas at Austin, when sniper Charles Whitman went to the top of the administration tower in 1966 and killed 16 people and wounded dozens. Last September, a University of Texas student fired several shots from an assault rifle on a campus street before killing himself.

Texas enacted its concealed handgun law in 1995, allowing people 21 or older to carry weapons if they pass a training course and a background check. The state had 461,724 license holders as of Dec. 31, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Businesses, schools and churches can set rules banning guns on their premises. On college campuses, guns are prohibited in buildings, dorms and certain grounds around them.

Opponents of campus gun rights say students and faculty would live in fear of their classmates and colleagues, not knowing who might pull a gun over a poor grade, a broken romance or drunken argument.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Someothername

    The “current system” is broken

    Examine for example University of Houston within just the last 2 weeks:

    Armed assault
    Armed robbery
    Armed kidnapping
    Car break-ins (to get guns stored there because Licensees must store them there to run into a library on campus, but not a city library?)

    thedailycougar com/news/crime/

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Aggravated abduction reported by student
    The UH Department of Public Safety reported the abduction of a student at gunpoint…

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Patrols increase after robbery;

    Campus police have stepped up patrols around Farish Hall in an effort to prevent any further incidents following an aggravated robbery last week. Last week, a student was approached from behind and robbed at knifepoint..

    Vehicle burglaries on the rise

    How about San Antonio College

    80 light bulbs burned out in parking lots, and yet armed robbers on second floor mens rooms run freely around campus in broad daylight, and naturally cars on and near near campus are broken into.

    An increasingly occurring crime of vehicular burglary … criminals on campus, breaking into cars, because they think guns are stored there. (Of course in parking lots at church, Walmart, malls etc. they’d be a lower incidence of guns stored in cars, because Licensees carry them in with them)

    My 40 caliber customized Glock was stolen out of the truck when I was staff at University of Houston.
    If I carry my $1,000.00 customized pistol inside my $175.00 holster safe and secure and concealed inside my waistband retained by my $100.00 reinforced belt,

    I absolutely guarantee you are safer than it being left in a car for a criminal to get while I run into the library. No one has ever reached into my pants in the library or in a classroom to see what might be concealed in there.

    Why would you want to continue providing easy access to guns on campus to criminals to use in other crimes?

    We want to stop providing easy access to guns through vehicular burglaries to criminals, and the Brady Campaign and their followers are inhibiting that goal of stopping easy access to guns for criminals by spreading false fears to campus leaders and students.

    Alternatively, we can keep the current “status quo” of providing free guns to criminals on campus property, to be used in other crimes.

    This bill needs to pass, it’s just common sense.

    • David C

      Thank you for taking the time to compile this data. I’m sorry to hear about your stolen pistol. Sadly, even if the police recover it, some have a policy of melting it down rather than returning it to the rightful owner. This is definite if the criminal uses it for crimes, then decides to destroy it as evidence by turning it in during one of those gun buy back programs. He could be paid for your stolen gun, turn it into police anonymously, then won’t check to see if it is stolen or was used in a murder, and they will melt the gun down as a service to the criminals.

  • Steve-o

    The demographics of CHL holders suggest they wouldn’t be the type to use their handguns for retributions or juvenile antics. And unless you like the good students being shot like fish in a barrel by the baddies who disregard the “No Guns Allowed” signs, this law is a logical necessity and needs to pass.

  • Scott

    How about this?

    Take a good look at the statistics of those Colorado colleges mentioned in the story.

    They dorms, they have classrooms, I’m sure they have romances and even a drunken party or two. How many shootings have occurred there? Any spurned lovers quarrels end in bloodshed because of a concealed permit holder? Any frat parties end in a gun battle?

    No? I didnt think so.

    • Scott


      They HAVE dorms. I don’t know where the “have” went in my original post.

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/%e2%80%98guns-on-campus%e2%80%99-bills-get-hearing-in-state-house/ ‘Guns On Campus’ Bills Get Hearing In State House « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] ‘Guns On Campus’ Bills Get Hearing In State House Proposals that would give Texans the right to carry guns in the classroom are scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday. Go to News Source […]

  • Karl

    Hooray for decent journalism! This is the first article I’ve read that doesn’t intentionally sway to one side of the argument and the author attempted to stay reasonably informed through research of the topic.

  • David C

    I am a college professor and think it is a good idea to allow licensed students and faculty the means to defend themselves from criminals and terrorists. School shootings happen for one reason, there are a large group of people trapped in a building that the criminal already knows are unarmed. Anyone that cares about the lives of those in a school must support this, and anyone against it must not care if we are picked off one by one by an armed criminal- who won’t obey the law against shooting people, so how stupid are we to think they would obey a law against bringing a gun on campus anyway? Anti gun laws encourage crime and always have. Last I checked, Texas has made carrying guns into a church illegal no matter how those at church feel about it. When religious people want a voice in public or government they scream about separation of church and state, which is nowhere in the Constitution by the way, but then why does the government have the right to disarm people in a church, leaving them helpless against terrorists and anti religious crazies?

    Also, the 2nd Amendment says that we have the right to “KEEP AND BEAR” arms, which means own and carry, and it is Unconstitutional to pass a law preventing these anyway, regardless of how our government has decided to weasel out of this by misinterpreting it to have more power over us.

  • TexasCarry


    There is no law in place that says you cant carry in a church. A church has the right to prohibit guns on it’s premises though. Every session, more restrictions are removed from the places you can and cannot carry. I too teach at a Dallas university, and I welcome the change in law. Even (as a bare minimum) if it were restricted to faculty and staff only. At least that would be a start, and at least one of the bills up for voting provides for this. Even though a restriction like that STILL goes against the constitutional right to bear arms…it takes 100% of the wind out of the sails of the gun-control advocates. Plus nobody can complain that they’re “scared” that their professor might have a gun. What do we do then, take the guns away from campus police too? I mean, they’re just people with a little bit of gun training. (less than my amount of training and regular practice, I guarantee that)

  • Someothername

    Correct, after numerous church shootings, Texas added/amended the law allowing concealed carry in church unless a 30.06 sign is posted.

    My pastor and all deacons and retired law enforcement officer and CHLs are armed in churches all across Texas (Odd cult, starts with a B and ends in aptist, but I won’t say which denomination) (smile) It’s up to each individual church body to post signs or not.

    Texas Penal Code – Section 46.035 keep reading until you get to
    (i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), ***(b)(6)***, and (c) do not apply
    if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.

  • kojo

    How smart – Let kids carry guns on campus! It works out well when they’ve been partying all night and are super drunk and get into a fight and then guns are drawn!! Why are guns drawn over a petty verbal fight? Because the guns are available and at the ready! Real smart. There are campus police and city police that have guns. They are the only ones who should legally carry guns.

    • someothername

      guns are already on campus legaly, just stored in cars. probably some illegal ones there too

      if a drunk criminal wants to do what you mentioned, law abiding licensed adults over 21 who are Staff/Faculty or upper level / Grad students had background checks and training should have the right to defend themselves

    • someothername

      In Texas “Kids” can’t get a license

    • someothername

      You make it sound like qualifying for a concealed handgun license is as easy as a getting driver’s license …. it isn’t

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