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AUSTIN (AP) – A contentious bill allowing concealed handguns on college campuses in Texas will likely let schools carve out large gun-free zones, as state lawmakers negotiate final language before Monday’s deadline.

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Sen. Brian Birdwell, who authored the Senate version of the measure, said Thursday that he’s willing to let universities ban guns from some parts of campus.

That’s a major concession to opponents of the measure, who say guns don’t belong in academic settings.

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The Granbury Republican also says he’ll insist on letting private schools set their own rules whether to allow guns unlike public universities. Birdwell calls it a private property rights issue.

Meanwhile, House and Senate negotiators also have until the legislative session ends Monday to agree on a separate bill, this one allowing open carry of handguns statewide.

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