By Tobin Lavalley
Texas State University has wrapped up the first full year of campus carry by holding public forums to vet the new Campus Carry Task Force recommendations. The Task Force heard members of the community and are reviewing the recommendations.
Texas Senate Bill 11, or the campus carry bill, was signed into law on June 1, 2015 and went into effect August 1, 2016. The bill permits adults to carry a weapon on public university campuses in Texas if they possess a valid concealed handgun license.
The university complied with the legislation in what it describes as a “thoughtful and reasonable manner.” When the bill was signed into law the university held public forum meetings to allow the community to weigh in on the new policies and help create rules. As a result, the university adopted a gun-free policy in testing centers and allowed faculty members to declare their university offices as gun-free zones if they desired.
“Gun-free zones don’t work,” said one student that concealed-carries who asked not to be named, “it’s like putting up a sign to shooters saying ‘You’re safe here. We are unarmed.’ It might be [a reasonable measure] if there was another person there that was armed, like a police officer.” The student clarified that he does not carry his firearm every day, only on days when campus tensions are high, “like test days and after Trump was elected.”
University President Denise Trauth has said the purpose of the Campus Carry Task Force is “to conduct a holistic review of the implementation of the Campus Carry law on [the] campuses.”
“I don’t think anybody should be able to have a gun, but that’s not the reality,” said Texas State Senior, Serge Romo, “so I wouldn’t mind carrying one too.”
The university says it has created several documents to inform staff and students of the rules, regulations and guidelines of the new bill and university policies that can be found at www.txstate.edu/campuscarry.