Smart or Insane? Texas is About to Legalize Guns On College Campuses

Texas Legalize Guns College Campuses

Soon, it could be perfectly legal to carry guns on public college campuses in the state of Texas.

This week, the Texas Legislature passed a bill which allows college students and staff with valid concealed carry permits to bring their handguns on college campuses throughout the state. The legislature also passed an open carry law which would allow holders of concealed-carry licenses to carry handguns in public with a hip or shoulder holster. Gov. Greg Abbott, a staunch supporter of gun rights, is expected to sign both bills into law, and even tweeted about his intensions to sign the Open Carry bill.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the Campus Carry law will allow Texans with a concealed-carry license to bring handguns onto university grounds, including dorms, classrooms, cafeterias and other public campus buildings. 

Predictably, the move has been blasted by gun-control advocates, such as the Campaign To Keep Guns Off Campus and Everytown For Gun Safety, who wrote an open letter to the legislature prior to the vote. The letter, signed by survivors of campus shootings and the family members of victims, asked lawmakers "not [to] use our tragedies to rationalize bad policies."

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"We have replayed the horrible events our families experienced over and over in our heads, and we reject the notion that allowing concealed carry on campus makes colleges safer," they wrote. "For those who survived, it was the most intense, stressful, chaotic situation ever experienced, and adding more guns to those situations would only have made them more dangerous for everyone."

Bloomberg reports that, under the measure, private colleges will still be able to ban guns. Additionally, in a concession to Democrats, leaders of public colleges can create limited gun-free zones, within reason. Public colleges can also ban guns at sporting events, and they will be banned at bars and hospitals, even if on public campuses.

In 2004, Utah became the first state to allow guns on campus, and seven have since followed suit, including Texas. However, 20 states ban concealed weapons from campuses, and another 23 allow schools to designate their own policies, according to the National Conference Of State Legislatures. 

Sound off: what are your thoughts on the right to carry concealed weapons on college campuses? 

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