You are on page 1of 3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 02/23/2015 (REVISED 03/21/2015

)
CONTACT:
Madison D. Welch, Southwest Director, Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) - madison.welch@concealedcampus.org
SCC Board of Directors: organizers@concealedcampus.org
TEXAS UNIVERSITIES USE FABRICATED COSTS TO CAST DOUBT ON CAMPUS CARRY
During the 2011 Texas Legislative Session, Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) announced on the Senate floor that, according to
the administrators of colleges in his district, then-pending legislation to legalize the licensed concealed carry of handguns on Texas
college campuses would cost those institutions millions of dollars in increased insurance premiums. That claim was quickly refuted
(http://is.gd/t3CvDt) but not before the fabricated specter of an "unfunded mandate" succeeded in derailing the bill in question. In
light of this history, it's no surprise that college administrators, again aided by Senator Ellis, are once again warning of expenses that
exist only in their imaginations.
According to an article (http://is.gd/YWO9wX) published in the Sunday, February 22, edition of the Houston Chronicle, the UT
and UH systems believe that Senate Bill 11—the "campus carry" bill—would cost them an aggregate of $47 million over six years. Not
surprisingly, most of that purported cost would be borne by campuses in Senator Ellis's own district. Reportedly, $22 million
(approximately 47%) would be needed by the on-campus police department at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,
for "the installation of gun safes and lockers, additional administrative personnel and to fund 'de-escalation' and 'judgment' training
for staff and on-campus security." That's $6.5 million per year, over the initial six years, for an institution (http://is.gd/hFPTly) that
serves fewer than 6,500 trainees (mostly graduate students and post-doctoral residents and researchers), that offers no on-campus
housing, and that would (under SB 11) retain the right to prohibit guns in any facility functioning as part of a licensed hospital.
The University of Houston System, which operates primarily in Senator Ellis's district, claims it would spend $3 million the first
year and $1.2 million each year thereafter, to "create, maintain, and staff secured weapons storage facilities in nine dormitories."
According to a 2013 article (http://is.gd/Wj4ygx) in the Houston Chronicle, the main UH campus has a dorm capacity of 8,008 students
(the second-largest dorm capacity of any Texas university, behind only Texas A&M). According to the website (http://is.gd/lanSTS) for
UH-Victoria, the UH-Victoria campus has a dorm capacity of just over 600. No other UH campus offers on-campus housing. This means
that—based on the low rate (http://is.gd/Kgqgnx) of concealed handgun licensure among persons of typical undergraduate age (1823) and the low rate (http://is.gd/8WtGpC) at which persons over the age of 21 live in on-campus dorms—the UH System is concerned
about securing fewer than a half-dozen handguns per year. Madison Welch, Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed
Carry, commented, "If the University of Houston System can't figure out a way to secure handguns for less than $200,000 per
handgun per year, they have much bigger problems than campus carry."
Nothing in Senate Bill 11 (http://is.gd/1DnM1m) would require universities to create or staff "secured weapons storage
facilities." The bill simply states that institutions of higher education would be allowed to "establish rules, regulations, or other
provisions concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities that are owned or leased and operated by
the institution and located on the campus of the institution." Based on the wording of that provision, universities could presumably
require the handful of dorm residents who possess a valid concealed handgun license (CHL) to check their firearms at the campus
police station before turning in for the night. Or UH could do what the University of Colorado System does (http://is.gd/9rWw1b) and
offer only one gun-friendly residence hall per campus (the UH System appears to have only two campuses with dormitories).
Alternatively, UH could simply continue its current policy (per state law) of allowing CHL holders living in on-campus housing to store
their guns in their cars. As for the need to provide additional training for staff and on-campus security, Madison Welch noted:
For more than nineteen years, it has been legal for a CHL holder to park her car in a campus parking garage, take a leisurely
stroll through campus, and stop to read a book under one of the trees in the middle of the campus quad, all while carrying
a concealed handgun. Yet we're expected to believe that letting that same license holder carry her concealed handgun into
a campus building would necessitate millions of dollars in additional training for the same security officers who didn't need
any additional training to protect the parking garage, the sidewalk, or the quad. Either universities are fishing for funding
for security improvements they should have implemented decades ago, or they and their friend Senator Ellis are once again
relying on fuzzy math and fuzzy ethics to derail good legislation.
###
ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization
comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses
should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere
else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or
Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus.
RELATED: http://tinyurl.com/scc-oped-aas | http://tinyurl.com/scc-oped-dmn | http://tinyurl.com/txscc-why-campus-carry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 02/26/2015
CONTACT:
Madison D. Welch, Southwest Regional Director, Students for Concealed Carry (SCC)
madison.welch@concealedcampus.org
SCC Board of Directors: organizers@concealedcampus.org
IF CAMPUS CARRY WOULD COST UT SYSTEM TENS OF MILLIONS, WHY DOES UT-AUSTIN ESTIMATE ITS COST AT ZERO?
If the University of Texas System honestly believes that Texas Senate Bill 11, the "campus carry" bill authored by
Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), would cost (http://is.gd/YzFo7U) the system $39 million over six years, why did the
system's flagship university—UT-Austin, which serves more than 51,000 students—submit a fiscal note claiming that it
expects to incur zero cost associated with the bill? An article (http://is.gd/m2JdQe) in the February 26, 2015, edition of
the UT-Austin student newspaper The Daily Texan, states, "According to UT-Austin’s fiscal note, which estimates
expenses associated with campus carry, the policy would not cost the University any additional funds."
The article quotes UT-Austin spokesman Garry Susswein as saying that dorm residents in need of secured
firearms storage would be expected to bear those costs themselves. This begs the question: If UT-Austin, the largest
university in the system and the second largest university in the state, would not incur any notable costs as a result of
Senate Bill 11, where would the purported $6.5 million annual cost be incurred? The article explains:
Most significantly, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center estimated it would require $22 million dollars to
increase staff size and training for its police department and to install security systems, such as card readers,
UT System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said. “It’s clear that there are inherent safety risks in a
medical setting that present specific challenges, such as medical equipment, the presence of chemicals held
under high pressure, safety concerns for patients and providing necessary storage for handguns that doesn’t
currently exist,” LaCoste-Caputo said in an email. UT-Dallas, UT-El Paso and UT-Rio Grande Valley have also
requested additional funds to accommodate campus carry if the bill were to pass. Combined, the institutions
requested about $630,000 for security measures.
Given that on-campus housing is the only location where Senate Bill 11 would allow universities to regulate the
storage of handguns but that the bill would allow universities to continue to prohibit handguns in any facility operating
as part of a licensed hospital, why would MD Anderson—which offers no on-campus student housing and comprises
primarily hospital facilities—spend money to install handgun storage facilities? Furthermore, why would allowing
licensed concealed carry in non-hospital teaching and administrative buildings necessitate the installation of card
readers or the hiring of additional police?
If carrying a handgun in close proximity to "chemicals held under high pressure" poses such a safety risk, why
has MD Anderson thus far been content with only the security offered by an honor-system-based "gun-free" policy?
Now that they've announced to the world's terrorists that their facilities are rife with ready-made IEDs, won't they need
to implement these security measures regardless of the final disposition of Senate Bill 11? SCC Southwest Regional
Director Madison Welch commented, "When an institution that has taken no steps to mitigate the dangers posed by
the illegal possession of firearms claims to need tens of millions of dollars to mitigate dangers posed by the lawful
possession of a firearms, that tells me that the administrators are less concerned with security than with pushing their
own political agenda or padding their institution's coffers."
###
ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots
organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued
concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that
current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For
more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus.
RELATED: http://tinyurl.com/scc-oped-aas | http://tinyurl.com/scc-oped-dmn | http://tinyurl.com/txscc-whycampus-carry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 03/18/2015
CONTACT:
Madison D. Welch, Southwest Regional Director, Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) - madison.welch@concealedcampus.org
OPPONENTS OF CAMPUS CARRY ASSUME VOTERS HAVE SHORT ATTENTION SPANS
AUSTIN, TX - The legislators and gun-control activists who incessantly parrot the claim that Senator Brian Birdwell (RGranbury) is pandering to Baylor University (the largest employer in his district) by exempting private colleges from his "campus
carry" legislation (SB 11) are clearly hoping voters won't remember that the language exempting private colleges originated in
campus carry legislation by former Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), whose district encompassed the state's fifth-largest
public university but no large private universities.
During the Wednesday, March 18, floor debate on Senate Bill 11, Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), remarked to Senator
Birdwell, “It is interesting that you would put this in public universities—in other people’s districts—but not private, when the
largest employer in your district is a private university.”
This is a favorite talking point among opponents of the bill, but it ignores the fact that the opt-out language for private
universities originated in Senator Wentworth's committee substitute to his 2009 campus carry bill (SB 1164). Senator Wentworth
included the same language in his 2011 campus carry bill (SB 354), and Senator Birdwell repeated it in his 2013 bill (SB 182). Because
Senator Wentworth's district encompassed the town of San Marcos—home to Texas State University—but did not include any large
private universities, there is no evidence that the language is intended to create a carve-out for Baylor or any other individual
institution.
Madison Welch, Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry, commented:
Opponents hope to derail this bill by pushing the false narrative of a "double standard," but the reality is that the ability
of private colleges to operate free of many of the restrictions placed on public colleges is fundamental to the existence of
private colleges. When you consider that private colleges have wide latitude to require church attendance, enforce
morality codes, and place restrictions on students' freedom of speech, it makes sense that those same institutions would
be allowed to restrict the rights of concealed handgun license holders on campus. If that is a double standard, it's the
same double standard that always exists between private property and public property. There is nothing unethical or
unusual about allowing private property owners to set their own policies but requiring state-funded colleges to honor
state-issued licenses.
The double-standard narrative is one of two popular talking points among opponents of campus carry. The other is that
campus carry would place a heavy financial burden on Texas colleges. For example, the University of Houston recently claimed it
would need $3 million for the first year and $1.2 million for each subsequent year, to build and staff secured storage facilities to
house the guns of concealed handgun license (CHL) holders living in on-campus dorms.
Ignoring the fact that Senate Bill 11 does not mandate secured storage facilities and would allow UH to continue its current
policy of requiring CHL holders living in dorms to store their handguns in their locked vehicles parked on campus, the university's
cost estimate is beyond absurd. The number of UH dorm residents with concealed handgun licenses can be estimated using statistics
from the University of Texas.
According to Austin NBC news affiliate KXAN, only 2.5% of the students living on campus at UT-Austin are 21 or older.
According to the UT-Austin website, the university has an on-campus housing capacity of 6,956. If we take 2.5% of 6,956, that’s 174
on-campus residents who are 21 or older. Because 9.5% of UT-Austin students are foreign nationals, we’re looking at about 157 who
are eligible for a Texas CHL. If we use the rate (1.3%) at which Texans age 21-23 are licensed to carry a concealed handgun, to
estimate how many of those 157 students are CHL holders, we can calculate that there are approximately two CHL holders living in
on-campus housing at UT-Austin.
According to a 2013 article in the Houston Chronicle, UH has a dorm capacity of 8,008 students, which is just 15% greater
than that of UT-Austin. Assuming that the demographic makeup of UH is comparable to that of UT, we can estimate that UH has
between two and three CHL holders living in on-campus dorms (2.4 using the exact percentages from UT; 2.6 if we don't discount for
foreign nationals). This means the University of Houston claims to need $1.5 million to $400,000 per year per handgun. Welch
quipped, "The university could save at least fifty percent by buying each of the CHL holders a house to live in."
###
ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising
college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the
same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the
NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus.
RELATED: http://tinyurl.com/scc-oped-aas | http://tinyurl.com/scc-oped-dmn | http://tinyurl.com/txscc-why-campus-carry