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Once again, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and gun control advocates are pulling out all the stops to defeat a campus carry bill in the Texas House. It is critical that you contact your State Representative THIS WEEKEND and urge him or her to support SB 11, Campus Carry legislation.
Senate Bill 11 removes restrictions in state law that prohibit law-abiding Concealed Handgun Licensees from protecting themselves on college and university campuses. This bill is NOT, as the anti-gun crowd wrongfully claims, about hordes of underage students "packing heat" in backpacks. This is about removing a limit on self-defense for adults 21 or older who live, work or study on a campus and who have passed a background check, completed firearms training and been issued a license by the state's top law enforcement agency.
The Texas Legislature will be working all weekend, so please CLICK HERE to contact your State Representative and urge him or her to support SB 11 and to oppose any restrictive amendments to the measure. Below are a few talking points you should consider when speaking with your Texas lawmaker:
Guns are already allowed on most campuses. Individuals are not prohibited under state law from keeping guns in their cars parked on campus and Concealed Handgun Licensees (CHLs) may legally carry on parking lots, walkways, sidewalks, and campus grounds; they just can't enter buildings under the control of a college or university.
Campuses are not "crime-free" zones. For example, the University of Houston Department of Public Safety reported 18 forcible sex offenses, 26 robberies, 60 thefts of motor vehicles and 200 burglaries occurring on the 667-acre campus from 2011-2013.
This is not precedent-setting. Nearly half the states that have passed concealed carry laws do not prohibit the possession of firearms by license holders on college & university campuses. Also, the Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, which prohibits the possession of firearms within 1,000 ft of a school, exempts state license holders from the ban. While this federal statute only applies to elementary and secondary schools, Congress made a concrete policy decision to allow license holders to protect themselves in environments where students are educated.
This bill primarily affects adult faculty, staff, students & visitors who are 21 years of age or older (unless you are in the military), who have passed a state and federal criminal records check and who have completed classroom and range training. According to DPS, in 2014, less than 6% of the more than 246,000 licenses issued or renewed were to individuals between the ages of 21-25.
Concealed Handgun Licensees have not been a threat to state & local law enforcement, nor will they be to college & university police departments. Removing a geographical barrier won't cause CHLs to act less responsible or less law-abiding. There hasn't been a problem for their non-campus counterparts anywhere else in the state in the 20 years the law has been in effect, with more than 800,000 active licenses.
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