7:00pm UPDATE — A statement from William H. McRaven, chancellor of the University of Texas system:
Today, the Texas Legislature reached a decision on the issue of campus carry. While it is not what we had hoped for, I respect the Legislature’s decision. I also appreciate legislators for recognizing the very specific safety considerations that are unique to campus environments.
It is helpful that the bill was amended to allow our campus presidents to consult with students, faculty and staff to develop rules and regulations that will govern the carrying of concealed handguns on campuses. I look forward to working with our presidents as they craft these policies and bring them to our Board of Regents for review.
I pledge to our students, faculty, staff, patients and their families and to all those who may visit a UT institution that, as UT System leaders, we will do everything in our power to maintain safe and secure campuses.
AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Concealed handgun license holders will now be able to carry their gun onto public college campuses.
The House voted 98-47 on Sunday to approve the measure. They included a caveat that allows college presidents to designate “gun-free zones.” It now goes to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who has indicated that he will sign it.
The so-called “campus carry” bill was a priority for gun rights activists, even though top universities statewide opposed it.
Both chambers previously passed their own versions of the bill, and a weekend agreement between House and Senate negotiators set up final approval.
Opponents won the concession of gun-free zones, though college presidents won’t be able to ban handguns on entire campuses.
In order to obtain a concealed-carry license, though, Texans must be 21.
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