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Saturday, November 25, 2017

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Students share thoughts over campus carry, constitutional carry


Certain places on campus, including all housing, do not allow concealed handguns. | Julie Araica/The Cougar

On Aug. 1, 2016, Texas Senate bill No. 11 went into effect, authorizing licensed holders to carry a concealed handgun at institutions of higher education.

This law, popularly known as “campus carry,” was passed during a legislative session in 2015 with another law that allows for the open carry of handguns.

In the upcoming legislative session, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland is hoping to pass House bill 375 that will allow lawful possession of a firearm in Texas without taxes, training requirements or licensing.

“Unlicensed open carry is another name for constitutional carry and has been in the works for some time. Campus carry was simply a preliminary entrée to it. This is well known,” said Alex Colvin, a history senior.  “It is not, however, a law the majority of Americans want. It is what the National Rifle Association (NRA) wants in order to help gun sales and gun manufacturers; it has never been about what the Constitution says about the right to carry.”

Students discuss campus carry

Campus carry went into effect last semester, without notice from some students. Education freshman Alexander Iglesias said that his first semester at UH passed without any worries about campus carry and that it isn’t something he usually thinks about.

“It doesn’t even really cross my mind that people on campus might be carrying a gun until I see a sign somewhere that prohibits them,” Iglesias said. “There are already so many things I have to worry about as a college student, and getting possibly shot at school shouldn’t be one of them.  I think that guns have no place on a college campus.”

Colvin believes that Iglesias’s concerns are shared by many students on campus, leading him to petition Senate Bill 11 and create a closed Facebook group called “Gun Free UH.”

Another group on campus, known as Students For Campus Carry at UH, advocates for concealed campus carry.  They said they have no opinion on constitutional carry.

Physics freshman Reed Masek is apathetic toward campus carry and thinks that if people wish to carry a concealed handgun on campus, they have every right to do so.

“If the law says that they can, then they can,” Masek said. “People will bring guns whether they’re allowed to or not, and if some people think that carrying a gun with them on campus will make them feel safer, then why stop them?”

Students voice concern over ‘constitutional carry’

Statistics collected by Students for Concealed Carry found that college-aged Texas License to Carry (LTC) holders had their licenses revoked at a much lower rate than other age group. 

However, individuals between 18 and 20 can obtain a license only if they are a veteran of the U.S. armed forces. The median age at UH is currently 22 years old, meaning that a good portion of the student body can legally obtain an LTC.

Although Masek is fine with campus carry, he is strongly against constitutional carry.

“There are rules and regulations for a reason, getting a gun shouldn’t be an easy process because having a gun is such a huge responsibility,” Masek said. “That’s almost as bad as saying that we shouldn’t require people to have licenses to drive a car, it makes no sense.  If this bill is passed and then campus carry is changed and allows people to carry concealed handguns without a license, I don’t know if I’ll feel safe on campus anymore.”

The proposal has many critics, including Ed Scruggs, the vice chair of the Board for Texas Gun Sense.  According to an article, Scruggs believes that the bill would repeal needed requirements — continuing down a path that allowed for campus carry.

“Basically, it just trashes every gun regulation in the state. It trashes every safety regulation in the state,” Scruggs said. “There would really be no reason to have a licensing or permitting system at all.”

Scruggs said that Strickland is a proponent of what he calls the “guns everywhere” philosophy, which is the belief that anyone should be able to carry anywhere and that doing so makes the world a safer place.

Iglesias strongly disagrees with this statement.

“All we are doing with that mentality is breeding more fear and creating an environment of unease,” Iglesias said. “I believe that one of the reasons open carry isn’t allowed on campus is because that just generates this public fear.  I don’t think that any public place should allow that type of fear to exist.”

In a three-part piece Colvin wrote for Gun Free UH, he said that the campus carry laws were manufactured by the NRA as the “Campus Personal Protection Act” some years ago and adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and they have been pushed by lawmakers in statehouses ever since. 

“These laws are not an example of the people petitioning their elected representatives for laws they want; they are an example of corporate interests and their foot soldiers in the statehouses imposing their will on the electorate, against the public,” Colvin said.

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  • Muhammed Bin Zayed Jones

    Ah … Alex J. Colvin, founder, president, and lone member of Gun Free UH.

    Word is that Colvin suspects himself in a recent alleged embezzling episode of Gun Free UH funds. But Colvin himself is holding up the GFUH investigation, saying there is no credible evidence against himself to promote further investigation of himself. At press time Colvin had no comment for or against himself. Of course I jest, but it is something you would believe of Alex.

    And of course, not to mention, Alex is a confirmed alleged sexual harasser of young, pretty, and innocent millennial women in Florida, so he won’t be teaching any cute Texas High School cheerleaders ever. Thank Goodness.

    —————————————————————————————————-

    Look, Open Carry has been law for over a year, and I’ve yet to see a citizen openly carrying any weapon.

    I and many others are content with carrying our weapons concealed.

    Look, we are talking about Alex J. Colvin, a so-called man who predicted Chicago-style gun violence would occur weekly when UH campus carry took effect.

    ———————————
    BTW — 3 DEAD, 19 WOUNDED IN CHICAGO WEEKEND SHOOTINGS
    A very lite Super Bowl weekend for all the celebrating taking place.
    ———————————

    I’ve yet to hear of any offense caused by a student licensed to carry on campus. Have you? The weapon I carry on campus is concealed, and secured on my person. It’s not charge, which I would suggest of my fellow UH campus carriers. My safety is a hard trigger pull, but the weapon is not loaded.

    Pulling back the hammer, with takes no time at all, should be a fair warning given out by carriers that they are serious about using the weapon in self defense.

    Concealed Carry on campus is good enough for UH.

    And even if Constitutional Carry were allowed on campus, how many would actually do it. I would venture to guess in Texas, it would be an amount even smaller than the Tranny population at UH. Almost nil.

  • Opa

    Hmmm, six months and no blood running in the streets . . .

  • Martin Cohn

    Name one piece of anti-gun/gun control (and yes they are the same) legislation proposed or passed in the last 50 years that has made anyone safer, prevented crime, or kept guns out of criminals hands. Hint there are none! All they have accomplished is infringing on gun owners Civil Right.

  • Isthatso?

    Clarification: The GFUH FB page was retired in October, 2016. It had over 400 members at the time.

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