Guns may be allowed at Texas colleges


July 7, 2008, 06:54 PM

Guns may be allowed at Texas colleges

Texans might soon be able to pack heat on college campuses.

That is just one of several proposals that could reach lawmakers next year as they — and legislators nationwide — explore broadening some gun laws.

"It addresses personal protection," said state Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, who heads the House committee that considers gun bills. "People who do things [like the Virginia Tech shooting] basically know they are walking into a gun-free zone.

"They are cowards . . . facing people not allowed to fight back."

Lawmakers could set their sights on several proposals next year in the wake of the recent historic Supreme Court ruling that determined that Americans have a right to own guns for hunting and self-defense.

Communities nationwide are doing the same thing.

Changes are already under way in some states, such as Florida, where employees may now lock guns in their cars even on private property, and Georgia, where pistols are now allowed in state parks and restaurants and on public transportation.

And lawsuits have already been filed challenging some city rules — including one in Chicago that bans possessing a gun in the city and one in San Francisco that bans handguns in public housing.

Texas likely won’t end up in the litigation fray, said James Dark, executive director of the Texas State Rifle Association.

"It is questionable whether there are any Texas laws strict enough to warrant court scrutiny," he said. "Our laws are not restrictive enough."

But anti-gun groups are working to counter future legislation nationwide, already boosting fundraising efforts to fight more challenges.

"We have our work cut out for us, but I know we can beat the gun lobby in court," Sarah Brady, chairwoman of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, wrote in a recent letter to supporters. "We have common sense on our side. And, with the Brady Center’s legal expertise and years of experience, we can and will help defend gun laws that protect you, your family and your community."

Texas laws

A law enacted in 1995 gave Texans the right to carry concealed weapons if they get a permit. More than 290,000 Texans now have permits, Department of Public Safety records show.

Driver said lawmakers probably won’t embrace an open-carry approach, despite an online petition now signed by more than 18,000 Texans.

"If that’s what a majority of the people want, we would consider it," he said. "I’m not going for that at this point. . . . but I won’t work against it.

"I believe we ought to be able to protect ourselves however we can."

College campuses

Driver said he may propose a campus personal protection act to let those with concealed handgun permits carry guns at colleges.

"We’re trying to provide students, faculty, visitors, anyone with a concealed handgun license the ability to protect themselves and at times protect others," he said.

A professor recently testified on the issue before a legislative committee, saying he is responsible for making sure students get out of the building safely if there’s a fire, tornado or other dangerous situation.

"But he said he’s tasked — if somebody starts shooting students — with hiding under his desk," Driver said.

Utah is the only state so far to allow weapons at all public universities.

Workplace safety

Another proposal that may go to lawmakers next year would let holders of concealed-handgun licenses lock their guns in a secure area at work, perhaps their vehicle’s glove compartment or in the office.

Texas law now prohibits guns in places such as government buildings and lets private businesses ban weapons on their property.

"I think it’s always time in Texas to address the gun laws," Driver said. "We are slowly moving along, trying to make sure everyone understands why we want these bills passed, why we want to let people protect themselves."

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La Pistoletta
July 7, 2008, 07:00 PM
Precedents, precedents.

July 7, 2008, 07:02 PM
The janitors better get out their mops, the campus will be running red with blood.:uhoh:

Then Sarah Brady will say I told you so because after all, We have common sense on our side.:barf:

July 7, 2008, 07:04 PM
Of course, this has to wait until 2009 when the state legislature convenes. Every other year here.

XD Fan
July 7, 2008, 07:28 PM
The Brady Center has common sense?

July 7, 2008, 07:38 PM
well, seeing how i have four semesters and then two semesters of student teaching left, i may well benefit from this. i already carry my concealed handgun responsibly everyday, everywhere except work. people need to realize that college campuses aren't filled with 18 year old kids drinking themselves to oblivion, solely. juniors and seniors are of the proper age and usually mindset i would venture to say to be able to carry a legally concealed handgun. and then there is the non traditional student population to consider, such as myself. i have my own family to try to get home to everyday, and while college classrooms aren't the mean streets where gangstas shoot people everyday, it is a nice hunting ground for some deranged person to hurt a lot of innocent people. i don't want to be a hero, i just want the chance to defend myself.

July 7, 2008, 08:06 PM
Sigh...we ALMOST got employee parking lot immunity last session. I personally really wish for college campus carry, don't like being disarmed.

Standing Wolf
July 7, 2008, 08:57 PM
The Brady Center has common sense?

The leftist extremists have a very clear sense of the way commoners ought to live: in fear.

July 7, 2008, 08:59 PM

I carried a 4" "S&W Model 66 in my backpack the entire five years I was in college way back in the 80's. Nobody ever knew about it.

Reckon we'll be sending Mr. Driver an "appreciation" check for his office/campaign staff.


July 7, 2008, 09:20 PM
Good luck Texas! Export some of that common sense to MD please!

July 8, 2008, 12:28 AM
Don't hold your breath. I think somebody is just stirring the pot.

July 8, 2008, 12:59 AM
Whoop. I have been pushing this since the Va. Tech tragedy. I am stoked! Beat the Hell outta any person that tries to take my guns.

I know there is a lot of students here at Texas A&M who want this. Unfortunately there are some who do not as well. It seems that the universities are beginning a liberal push which, even if the wepons are allowed on campus, I feel the University will outlaw weapons. It is quite sad to see the way things are wanting to move, but we could get lucky and the state could say that it is illegal to keep anyone from carrying on campus. Who knows, all I can do is pray.

God bless,

Sebastian the Ibis
July 8, 2008, 01:20 AM
There is Texas Precedent for this:

Civilians, armed with rifles returned Charles Whitman's (University of Texas Sniper's) fire. Forcing him to keep his head down and only shoot through rain spouts, severely limiting his lethality.

July 8, 2008, 09:10 AM
I think any "gun-free zone" is unconstitutional on its face. This includes not only college campuses but also public schools and other "gun-free zones". It's one thing to allow a private business owner to disallow guns on their property, considering there is nearly always competition for customers so it allows some other business to provide the service or product to people who would rather be armed. However, there is no option with "gun-free zones". School attendance is compulsory. Parents have to be on the school campuses from time to time, and certainly teachers have to work at schools. This applies to colleges as well as all other public schools.

Maybe we have to start with colleges and work our way down, but in the end we will have to declare "gun-free zones" unconstitutional once and for all.

July 8, 2008, 09:40 AM
If more Texans would get off their butts and join TSRA, a lot more of these gun favorable propositions would become laws. But most of you guys expect a few of us to fund them.

July 8, 2008, 09:46 AM
I need to e-mail Rep Joe Driver and thank him for this proposed legislation and for lighting a fire under DPS over the slow turn-around on CHLs.

Deer Hunter
July 8, 2008, 09:47 AM
Hopefully we can push this into being. In two years I'll be able to carry.

I just joined the TSRA after reading this.

July 8, 2008, 10:52 AM
where, on the TSRA page, do they disclose the membership fee/dues/etc?

July 8, 2008, 11:01 AM
where, on the TSRA page, do they disclose the membership fee/dues/etc?

hmmm... I don't see it. you might be better off calling.

I joined at a gun show and it was something like $35 to join.

I'm convinced that no one at the TSRA has any website experience. The site is usuually a bit out ot date. Oh well, if they get laws passed/killed as needed, I can forgive the web site.

July 8, 2008, 11:17 AM
well they might have more success getting people to join if this was made clear and easy.

July 8, 2008, 11:21 AM
Perry's a big advocate of this. In a speech last year I heard him make several comments advocating for concealed carry on Texas' campuses.

It was great to hear.

I actually wrote him a letter to say so.

July 8, 2008, 11:30 AM
You can thank a joint TSRA/ACLU report (of all things) for the new traveling law.

Deer Hunter
July 8, 2008, 11:56 AM
It cost me 7 dollars to join the TSRA. I'm a minor, though.

July 8, 2008, 01:46 PM
where, on the TSRA page, do they disclose the membership

On the left hand side, in little letters, under the heading Big 5, the top one is "Join TSRA". Or hopefully the following link will work:

If you join, please do as I did and send them an email asking them to make finding the "How to Join" link a little larger. If enough people ask they may do it.

ETA: sknewmexico beat me to it.

July 8, 2008, 02:06 PM
Finding the page is not an issue, but they don't have their fees listed on it.

I'm sure NO ONE will fill out an online app with no easy way to find info on how much thier CC will be charged.

well they might have more success getting people to join if this was made clear and easy.


July 8, 2008, 06:58 PM
I also joined the TSRA last night. Seemed to be the right thing to do. And, yes, it's a bit hard to find out how much it costs until you've committed to join (ostensibly once you decide you don't care how much it costs). Maybe they can use some of the money to simplify the process.

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