Texas Legislature Allows Guns on College Campuses

Both chambers of the Texas Congress have passed a bill to allow guns on the campuses of public universities.

Texas lawmakers have approved a bill allowing people with gun licenses to bring guns onto the campuses of public universities.

The Texas House of Representatives and Senate both passed the bill on May 31, and Governor Greg Abbott has vowed to sign any bill that expands gun rights. Under Texas Senate Bill 11, concealed handguns can be brought into dormitories, classrooms and other school buildings, according to statesman.com.

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Public university presidents could ban guns from certain areas on campus, but the bans must be based on “specific safety considerations and the uniqueness of the campus environment.” Private universities can ban guns from all campus buildings.

University of Texas System Chancellor Admiral William McRaven wrote a letter to Congress against Senate Bill 11, arguing it could scare prospective and current faculty members from Texas institutions and raise campus security costs. McRaven’s letter also suggested amendments to the bill, including banning guns from buildings with mental health and counseling centers, according to campusreform.org.

Assuming the governor signs the bill, the law will take affect for most colleges on Aug. 1, 2016. Community colleges and junior colleges will have until Aug. 1, 2017 to make gun rules.

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