Handguns On Texas Campuses
A bill (Texas SB 354 sponsored by republican Senator Jeff Wentworth) allowing Texas licensedconcealed handgun holders (anyone over 21 with a permit to carry a concealed handgun) to carrytheir weapons into university buildings, including dormitories is currently before the state legislature.It's already legal for permit holders to bring a gun onto campus grounds. More than half of themembers of the Texas House of Representatives have co-authored the bill sponsored by Dallasrepublican Joe Driver. Texas is one of nine states currently considering campus carry; similar bills areadvancing in Arizona, Tennessee, Michigan, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, Nebraska andMississippi.This is a topic that creates a wealth of emotional opinions on both sides of the issue. News coverageof this normally involves an interview with college students, university leaders and gun ownerproponents expressing their opinions. Most of these interviews spend very little time on the factssurrounding concealed carry laws currently in place in various states and crime statistics on collegecampuses.
Current Concealed Carry Laws in the U.S.
48 states have passed laws allowing citizens to carry certain concealed firearms in public, eitherwithout a permit or after obtaining a permit from state or local law enforcement. Thirteen states use asingle permit to regulate the practices of both concealed and open carry of a handgun. Alaska,Vermont, Arizona, and Wyoming (as of July 1st, 2011) allow residents to carry a concealed firearmwithout a permit. There is no federal law addressing this issue, so each state has the ability toconstruct its own laws concerning concealed weapons carry.
Handgun Laws on Campus
15 "Right-to-Carry" states leave the decision of concealed carry on college campuses to eachindividual college or university. Utah is currently the only state that allows concealed handguns on allof its public colleges and universities. This law was passed during the fall semester of 2006. ColoradoState University campus in Ft. Collins and in Pueblo has allowed licensed carry since 2003. In 2010fourteen Colorado community colleges began allowing licensed concealed carry on campus.Currently this brings the total to 26 colleges - a combined 71 campuses- that allow carrying ofconcealed handguns at the time of this writing.The ambiguity concerning right to carry on a college campus is illustrated by Virginia's law whichallows licensed individuals to have a concealed weapon on their person, but revokes this right forstudents and faculty. As stated by the Virginia Attorney General in opinion No. 05-078, the conclusionwhich was: "... It is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia's public colleges and universitiesmay not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals.Pursuant to specific grants of statutory authority, however, it is my opinion that colleges anduniversities may regulate the conduct of students and employees to prohibit them from carryingconcealed weapons on campus. "
Gun Violence on Concealed Carry Campuses