Guns may be allowed at Texas colleges
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    Post Guns may be allowed at Texas colleges

    Guns may be allowed at Texas colleges | Top Stories | Star-Telegram.com
    By ANNA M. TINSLEY
    [email protected]

    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."
    ANNA M. TINSLEY, 817-390-7610

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  3. #2
    that would be great if other states started doing what utah is in allowing students with permits to carry. as it says. criminals are cowards. they know they are safe to raise hell in a gun free zone.
    You can have my freedom as soon as I'm done with it!!!

  4. #3
    I hope this passes and I hope they open up other current areas that are at this time gun free zones.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  5. #4
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    At least lawmakers in Texas, unlike those in other states, are attempting to be proactive instead of reactive. At the same time, realize that antis are going to pull out all the stops to see to it that this law does not pass. Give 'em hell, Texas!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tattedupboy View Post
    At least lawmakers in Texas, unlike those in other states, are attempting to be proactive instead of reactive. At the same time, realize that antis are going to pull out all the stops to see to it that this law does not pass. Give 'em hell, Texas!
    I agree totally. All we can hope for, with a lot of help from us, is that it opens the eyes up in lawmakers of more and more states.
    New York State Consolidated Laws, Civil Rights, Article 2-Bill of Rights, Section 4

    S 4. Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.

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