TEXAS SENATE APPROVES CAMPUS CONCEALED HANDGUN BILL
May 19, 2009
"Putting guns on campus makes no sense. How does law enforcement know who the shooter is if everyone has a gun? Students, faculty and regents all told us that it was a bad idea,"
Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh, www.shapleigh.org
AUSTIN - Today, a bill that would allow concealed handguns to be carried on Texas' college campuses was passed by the Texas Senate. Senator Eliot Shapleigh (D- El Paso) voted against the bill.
SB 1164 by Senator Jeff Wentworth (R- San Antonio) would allow for licensed gun-owners to carry concealed weapons on Texas' college campus. The bill does not prohibit guns from being stored in a university's residence hall. The bill also makes no provision that either parents or students be made aware of whether or not a gun is in their residence hall or owned by a roommate in a dorm room.
This bill would make Texas universities more dangerous and make it much more difficult for campus police to keep students safe. College campuses are often centers of great emotional and intellectual stress, especially in college residence halls.
"Putting guns on campus makes no sense. How does law enforcement know who the shooter is if everyone has a gun? Students, faculty and regents all told us that it was a bad idea," Senator Shapleigh said.
The bill as offered by Senator Wentworth on the Senate floor would have only allowed private Texas universities to opt-out of allowing handguns on campus. Senator Wentworth would not accept amendments to allow public Texas universities to opt-out.
Senator Shapleigh debated with Senator Wentworth on the state's ban on handguns at university sporting facilities preserved under his bill.
Senator Shapleigh asked, "Why, if we keep handguns out of a UT vs. Texas A&M game, is it a good idea to allow guns in a dorm?"
Student groups and universities across the state— including the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)— have opposed the bill since its introduction. In April, more than 300 University of Texas students protested the bill at the Texas Capitol in Austin.
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