Sunday, May 31, 2015

Guns Now Required On Texas State University Campuses

The Texas House, by a vote of 98-to-47 on Sunday, passed Senate Bill 11, legislation requiring the state’s public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings.  SB 11 is now on its way to desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who has said he will sign the bill.

The state Senate approved the bill Saturday by a 20-11 vote, with all of the chamber’s Democrats opposing it.

Under the version of the bill passed by both legislative chambers, universities would be able to carve out gun-free zones in locations of their choice — establishing their own rules on where handguns are carried and how they’re stored in dormitory buildings, based on public safety concerns.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) said the limited the last minute gun-free zones amendment was designed to allow guns to be prohibited in places of heightened security, such as biohazard labs. Common spaces, such as dormitories or libraries can not be designated gun-free zones.

Only concealed handgun license holders would be allowed to carry their firearms on state university campus. Private universities are allowed to opt out of the requirement, all together.

Texas now becomes the ninth U.S. state to allow concealed weapons on college campuses. Ten states have rejected campus carry bills this year, while four more -- Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina -- are still considering them. Twenty states ban concealed weapons from campuses, while 23 allow individual schools to make their own policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

University presidents and students warned lawmakers that the policy could lead to accidental shootings, student suicides and violence at alcohol-laced parties, while creating an air of intimidation in classrooms during heated debates.

No comments:

Post a Comment