During the years in which the Texas Legislature has failed to pass campus carry legislation, high-profile shootings have occurred at the University of Texas at Austin and just blocks from the Texas A&M campus in College Station. A multiple-stabbing incident in which more than a dozen people were wounded took place at Lone Star College's Cy-Fair campus. These locations - currently classified as "weapons-free zones" - are simply places where Concealed Handgun Licensees are rendered defenseless against criminals by Texas law. Senate Bill 11, sponsored by state Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) and state Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball), would remove those restrictions in Texas law that prohibit law-abiding, adult Concealed Handgun Licensees from protecting themselves on college and university campuses.
SB 11 passed the Texas Senate more than two months ago. Since that time, it has been used as a bargaining chip on completely unrelated legislative business and left until the last possible moment for consideration by the House. Now, it risks defeat because of a lack of time left in the session, or being severely gutted in the interest of expediency.
Under current law, Texas colleges and universities have the authority to allow CHLs to protect themselves on campuses, but they have universally chosen not to "opt-in" and use that authority. SB 11 was introduced to address this and restore personal protection rights for adults 21 or older who have passed a state and federal background check, completed firearms training and been issued a license by the state's top law enforcement agency.
The House will be working until midnight tonight. Please contact your state Representative IMMEDIATELY and urge him or her to pass meaningful campus carry legislation. Any amendment to SB 11 which would allow institutions of higher education to "opt-out" of campus carry or give them wide latitude to determine where and whether CHLs may lawfully possess firearms will not accomplish this goal. It will only lead to a patchwork of inconsistent application of the law and denial of self-defense rights to the most law-abiding and responsible segment of the population.