SB11, the Texas campus carry bill that allows adults with concealed handgun licenses to carry on public university campuses, passed the Texas Senate yesterday, 18 March, 2015, on a vote of 20 to 11(pdf). The bill was amended to require that people with concealed handgun licenses must keep their handguns concealed while on public campuses.
Second amendment activists have been pushing for this reform for several years, while disarmists on university campuses have claimed that students with concealed handgun licenses, who are among the most peaceable of Texans, will suddenly become dangerous and unpredictable on college campuses.
The bill still has to go through a House committee, and be voted on in the House before it would be sent to Governor Abbott.
UT-Austin does not expect any additional costs if the bill passes. From dailytexanaonline.com:
According to UT-Austin’s fiscal note, which estimates expenses associated with campus carry, the policy would not cost the University any additional funds. The System gathered the documents and submitted them to the Legislative Budget Board for review.
Other members of the University of Texas estimated costs of as much as $39 million for additional security. Most of the additional cost estimate came from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center that estimated that an additional 22 million dollars would be needed. Why additional security would be needed was not addressed. As people with concealed carry permits are far more law abiding than the general population, the estimate seems to be created out of thin air. The author of SB 11 made that point:
“It is patently absurd to suggest that additional security resources would be needed to accommodate faculty, staff or student [concealed handgun license (CHL)]-holders on Texas campuses,” Birdwell said in a statement. “I think it is bordering on offensive to suggest that [CHL-holders] will conduct themselves any less thoughtfully or lawfully the moment they set foot inside a university building.”
According to Students for Concealed carry on Campus, a similar
bill passed both houses of the Texas Legislature in 2013, but was stopped by the Senate Democratic Caucus. From ammoland.com:
This issue has been fully vetted by both the House and the Senate over the past three legislative sessions. It has passed out of every committee hearing and passed in both chambers, House and Senate.
This session the issue was halted by the Senate Democratic Caucus after the bill had passed in the Texas House.
Now that the bill has passed the Senate, the impediment of the Senate Democratic Caucus is no longer in play.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus has had numerous successes in recent years.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch