Effective Monday, licensed concealed carriers in Texas will be allowed to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights in all public universities in the state following last year’s passage of a campus carry law pushed by Governor Greg Abbot.
University presidents can apply exceptions to the law. Fox News reported:
For example, at the University of Texas at Austin, teachers will be allowed to declare their offices as gun-free zones, but most will post signs announcing it. Dorm residents can have guns in common areas, such as dining areas and lounges, but not sleeping rooms, where no storage of weapons is allowed. Exceptions to the room restrictions will be made for visiting family members who are licensed to carry handguns.
At Texas A&M University in College Station, guns are allowed in dorm rooms and teachers must get permission from the administration to ban guns from their office. State law still bans weapons from some campus areas, such as hospitals and sporting events.
Incidentally, the campus carry gun law is going into effect on the 50th anniversary of a mass shooting at the University of Texas.
It was August 1, 1966 when UT student Charles Whitman – also a military veteran and sniper trained in the Marines – climbed to the top of a 27-story clock tower on campus with a rifle and started shooting passersby down below. He ended up killing 13 people and wounding over 30 others before police fatally shot him.
State officials insist that the effective date was coincidental.
Obviously, not everyone is on board with the new law. Many students have indicated feeling safer being able to carry concealed handguns in campus buildings. But others have stated that students don’t need to bring guns to school, and that it creates a dangerous environment for other students and faculty. As one critic told Fox 4 News, “A campus is not really a place to carry guns. Students don’t need guns.”