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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to allowing concealed handguns in college classrooms, a day after passing a measure allowing open carry of guns most everywhere else in America’s second most-populous state.

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The “campus carry” bill has been panned by most student groups, law enforcement and key leaders of Texas’ top colleges. Critics include the retired Navy SEAL who led the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden before becoming the University of Texas’ new chancellor.

But the bill has strong support from gun rights groups and the Senate’s Republican majority. It sailed through on a 20-11 vote Wednesday.

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The bill needs a final vote – likely Thursday – to send it to the House.

The bill mandates allowing concealed handguns at public universities. Private schools could still ban them.

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