Texas Campus Carry Bills Will be “Hotly Debated”

In the 2009 legislative session, Texas politicians will have the chance to debate at least two bills of interest to state gun owners. Expect some legislative fireworks.

As the Express-News reported, “Lawmakers are drafting bills˜one to authorize the ability to carry a gun on campus and another to allow licensed handgun owners to openly carry their weapons˜that likely will be the most hotly debated among several pieces of gun-related legislation to be considered this session.”

The open carry bill will generate some talk. Yet, “Of the two issues, the ability to carry a concealed gun on campus is expected to evoke more emotion. Discussion over guns on college campuses burst on the national scene two years ago, sparked by the fatal shootings of 32 students at Virginia Tech. Since then, 17 states have introduced legislation to allow students and faculty to pack heat on campus. None has passed.”

Texas State Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) was drafting a bill allowing concealed carry on campuses. He told the Express-News his bill was a “safety protection bill” for college students and faculty.

“I don’t want to wake up one morning and hear on the news that some madman went on a Texas campus and picked off Texas students like sitting ducks,” Wentworth said.

“A [Texas] House interim study conducted by the Law Enforcement Committee˜which noted that only 11 U.S. universities allow concealed guns on campus˜recommended passage of such a measure. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Joe Driver, has also said he’s going to author a campus gun bill of his own.”

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