Texas state legislature moves toward allowing concealed carry on college campuses

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert PoliticsMay 6, 2013

While the National Rifle Association was holding its annual meeting in Houston this past weekend, Texas lawmakers were moving one step closer to allowing students to bringing concealed weapons to college campuses throughout the Lone Star state.

Last week the state senate passed SB 1907, which allows students who have concealed-handgun licenses to legally store their weapons in their cars while on the grounds of college campuses statewide. It also prevents colleges from opting out of the policy, something that they are currently able to do.

“It is their own personal vehicle, their own personal firearm,” state Sen. Glenn Hegar, the bill’s author, told The Houston Chronicle. “It is locked out of sight, out of mind; no one knows it’s there’s and it’s their Second Amendment right.”

SB 1907 passed the state senate after Democrats were assured that it wouldn’t be expanded to allow for concealed carry in classrooms and other campus buildings. Republicans in the chamber attempted to pass a bill to that effect last month, but it was considered “dead on arrival” in committee by its chairman, state Sen. John Whitmire.

“I don’t think there is any question that the tragedies around the country, most recently at Sandy Hook, put a chilling effect on broadening the right to carry on campuses and other venues,” Whitmire told the Houston Chronicle. “I personally think we need a cooling-off period.”

Nonetheless, the state house passed its version of the concealed carry in college classrooms legislation during its “Gun Day” Saturday – essentially putting the two chambers at odds with one another. The chamber passed a total of 12 gun-related bills Saturday, including measures to put armed marshalls in public school and and exempting the state from any future federal assault weapons bans.

Even if Gov. Rick Perry only gets to sign one of these bills into law, it’s still a win for gun advocates everywhere.

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