The 83rd Texas Legislature has approved a bill that will allow students to carry guns on college campuses but the guns must remain in the students’ vehicle and the student must have the proper state licenses. The House and Senate both passed a proposal by Republican Sen. Glenn Hegar of Katy.
According to Senator Hegar the bill is purely about fairness for college students. Bill author Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) presented the bill as a matter of fairness for college students. He pointed out that many Texans legally leave their guns in cars before entering a place that bans weapons, like churches and bars. He said that college students should be able to do the same on campus, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Both Chambers on Sunday approved a version reconciled in conference committee sending it to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk to be signed into law, according to The Associated Press. Senate Democrats agreed to pass the bill only after they were assured that the bill would not open the door to full on open carry on college campuses everywhere.
The bill passed in a 27-4 bipartisan vote, with 19 republicans and 8 democrats voting in favor, according to The Dallas Morning News. The current law allows for universities to post a sign prohibiting guns on their campus. But the new bill would override that law forcing universities to allow guns on campus in locked cars.
Supporters noted that it simply extends to students a right faculty and staff members and others on campus already have, according to The Associated Press. Those opposed to the bill are confused as to why having a gun in ones car is necessary and feel it is only a step closer to the day when students are allowed to attend class packing heat. Democratic Senator Jose Rodriguez, of El Paso, pointed out that a locked vehicle would do little prevent a potential shooter “We have an issue in this country right now with violence on campus,” he said, per the Chronicle. “If they have ill will toward someone, all they’re going to have to do is walk over to their car and get the gun.”