Campus carry law raises concern at universities across the state

Campus carry will almost certainly become law in Texas after the legislature voted in favor of it this weekend, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The proposed legislation would allow concealed handguns on public college campuses and go into effect in fall 2016.

Universities across the state have voiced concerns over the bill, and the University of Texas at Austin’s student government released a letter to legislators outlining why they do not agree with the campus carry law.

“It is important to our students that they have a voice in determining campus safety for each individual school,” the letter said. “We ask that universities be allowed to opt in or out of the campus carry policy, so that the people who know best — administrators, students and elected student representatives — have a say in what happens on their campuses.”

The letter, which included the signatures of Student Government Association President Shaun Theriot-Smith and Tanzeem Chowdhury, also asks that universities across the state be allowed to opt in or opt out an campus carry policy that may be put into place.

“(We) will absolutely take into account the input and advice of any and all students wishing to make comment,” Theriot-Smith said. “I can assure you that the SGA will take every step possible to ensure the highest level of safety and welfare is maintained for students on this campus while honoring the letter of this new law.”

House and Senate negotiators agreed to allow public university presidents to create gun-free zones, but it would need extra legislative action to completely amend the law. Private universities, however, can completely opt out of the bill.

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  • The same liberal that tells you “I want you to open carry so I can get away from you” also fears you if you carry concealed. How ridiculous. It’s a RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, PERIOD. Unless the universities in Texas declare independence and become their own Republic, you have to respect the 2nd Amendment. Don’t like it? Too bad. Most of you are welfare queens, anyway, getting millions from the taxpayers, benefiting from student loans that the rest of us have to pay for, so I don’t care if you hate guns. It’s our right.

      • Well, in the United States, there is a 2nd Amendment, and just like we don’t have Speech-Free Zones, we shouldn’t have Gun-Free Zones, which are never truly gun-free since the bad guys don’t obey stupid signs.

        Besides, the Supreme Court already affirmed that we do have a right to keep and bear arms, and while they didn’t say it was unlimited, they certainly didn’t say that some zones can be gun-free zones. In fact, they said that COMMON GUNS are protected. So an AR-15, a handgun, shotguns, rifles, those are all protected. Machine guns should be protected, but they’re under so much regulation only 50,000 people in America get to have them. The rest don’t one yearly visits by the ATF.

  • What a terrible idea. With the exception of law enforcement officials, guns should be kept out of universities and colleges.

    • You DO realize law enforcement officials are just ordinary civilians like your self don’t you? They must be licensed just the same as a holder of a Concealed Handgun License.

    • You do realize that LEOs have a higher incidence of criminal activity than CHL holders? But you trust them over the more law abiding CHL holders. That does not make sense.

  • Wow…who knew that maintaining a “well regulated militia” meant students open-carrying on college campuses? What could possibly go wrong in a milieu where drinking and drug use are prevalent and you have a bunch of 18-20 year olds armed? The original intent of the 2nd Amendment had not one damn thing to do with allowing every citizen to walk the streets with a Glock on their hip. No part of our Constitution has been so thoroughly bastardized as the right to bear arms.

    • A well regulated militia meant that the people knew how to use firearms and their firearms were maintained in good working order.

  • All of these “concerns” are irrational, emotional, and uneducated responses based on the propaganda put forth by Bloomberg and his ilk. The facts and statistics, from the DOJ no less, from across the country in states with even less restrictive laws than was passed have dis-proven all of the hysteria surrounding this.

    • What you judge to be “irrational” etc. is your opinion. Open carry is a relatively new phenomenon so the “facts and statistics” you refer to without specificity, may well be tainted because they come from too small a sample, collected over too short a time. As for 18-20 years not being allowed to open-carry, you, Randy, missed the point; i.e. on college campuses you have students who are still growing towards maturity, even if they are 20+. Are those the folks who, under the influence of whatever, should have a gun on their hip? Finally, your rebuttal failed to address a central point in my post, that arming on-campus students with openly-carried guns goes well beyond the scope of a “well-regulated militia”.

      • Conflating Open Carry with Campus carry is a deflection. Texas makes the 8th state with Campus Carry allowed; all 50 states allow concealed carry. The argument is always the same, BLOOD WILL BE RUNNING IN THE STREETS! It has not and will not happen, so yes, these fear-monger tactics are irrational and unfounded. As far as 18-20 YOs maturity levels, you attempt to deflect; you ask these same 18-20 YOs to go to war and then say they are not responsible enough to do this? As far as your central point, then perhaps you should take it upon yourself to learn what a well-regulated militia means, in the context it was written, and not in the lens of today’s world. All citizens were considered a part of the local militias and well-regulated didn’t and doesn’t mean regulated by laws set by a central government, but regulated in the sense of trained in the use of firearms. CHL holders fulfill this requirement. AND the legislation that was passed DOES NOT ALLOW OPEN CARRY ON CAMPUS, just CONCEALED CARRY. Existing law already allows a CHL holder to carry ON CAMPUS so long as they do not enter the premises, which is defined as the exterior wall of a building. Statistics you want:, here you go. .31% of the total conviction in Texas for 2013 were by CHL holders an dthe vast majority for non gun related charges.

      • Currently 44 states have some form of open carry, some without permitting. Texas will be the 45th. 44 states have not had problems with open carry. There are several states that allow campus carry. Again, there have been no problems. Your fear is not supported by facts.

        • Shawn: This will deal with both of your last two posts. FIRST, by citing present evidence in support of open carry, you are engaging in post hoc/after the fact your effort to flesh out the Framers’ 2nd amendment intentions. Of course, that approach on your part is free of any of the historical context that might have guided the authors. That’s a matter I’ll discuss shortly.

          SECOND, your definition of “well regulated militia” is nowhere to be found in the Constitution and stands far apart from standard dictionary definitions of “militia” and “regulate”. Your words are a product of your mind trying to put the most innocent “spin” on the key phrase. As a matter of fact, per the dictionary, a “militia” is “The whole body of able bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to military service”. Per the same source, “regulate(d)” denotes “being under the control of law or constitutional authority.” That the qualifier “well” is part of 2nd Amendment language makes clear that the Framers had something in mind FAR different from your “know how to use and maintain….” comment.

          THIRD, to put the 2nd Amendment inn historical context, it is worth remembering that we had just brought the Revolutionary War to an end and were out from under the yoke of England’s king. George Washington’s troops had largely dispersed so we had no standing army. Had England or any other country decided to invade and take over this new land, we were ripe for picking. THAT is the main reason why we needed a well-regulated militia. Another was the Framers’ fear that even though they had been at pains to establish checks and balances in our new government, internal, government-sponsored tyranny had to be opposed. So, citizens were given 2nd Amendment “permission” to remain well-armed, BUT also “well-regulated.

          Finally, I found your rebuttals to be much more a product of your imagination than a thoughtful approach to discerning word/phrase meaning, and in-depth historical analysis. I will repeat what I said in my very first post; i.e. No part of our Constitution has been more thoroughly bastardized than the 2nd Amendment. In that process, we have seen quasi- and actual judicial activism on full display; the very thing that conservatives rail against when courts hand down a liberal decision.

          • Marty, you use ALL of the standard liberal talking points with NO knowledge of what you speak. Read the original documents used by the Founders, learn, and this might be a tough thing for you, what, where, when, why, and how language was used in the 18th century, and not some contemporary definition of what you want the definition of a well-regulated militia means. You are seemingly incapable of discussion what the 2nd Amendment means “in historical context” It was the Founders intent to have NO standing army, but to call up or draft We the People as necessary. They DID however see a need to stipulate, in the Constitution, that a Navy continue to permanently exist, to protect shipping lanes for our goods.

            And as to your assertion that the 2nd Amendment gave them “permission”, you obviously do not understand or have never read the Constitution or ANY of the Founders writings. Had you done so, you would know that it would not have been approved had not the first 10 amendments been added as some of those inalienable rights as stated in the beginning of the document.

            And your judicial activism has been what attempted to strip away these inalienable rights. The fact that strict constructionist or originalist judges are attempting to restore that which was taken must be a bitter pill for socialists such as yourself to swallow.

            • Randy: The only thing in your last post that caught me by surprise and that I was UNaware of is that I am a “socialist”. You “know” me from a series of about 5-6 posts involving yourself and Shawn yet you arrogantly think you can pigeon-hole me.

  • Liberals are all up in the air over this but they say nothing about the criminals who carry on campuses everyday.

  • I always knew that our SGA were a bunch of snakes. Seeing Shaun and Tanzeem sign it only confirms my suspicions on the matter.

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