Texas lawmakers are revisiting a bill that will allow concealed handguns on college campuses for people with concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) due to recent shootings such as the shooting at a Lone Star College in the Houston area.
According to the Huffington Post, this bill, called the Campus Personal Protection Act, is now up for debate in a session that started Jan. 8 and runs until Memorial Day. This bill failed to pass after its introduction in 2011, before the Lone Star College shooting.
ACU’s 2012-2013 Student Handbook states, “Any firearms-are strictly prohibited on university property.” If this bill passes, ACU will have to reevaluate this rule.
The bill gives private institutions such as ACU the ability to “adopt rules, regulations, or other provisions prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns on premises that are owned and operated by the institution.”
Ian Merriman, senior criminal justice major from Denton, is hoping the bill passes and that ACU will agree to let students conceal and carry. “I’d be OK with ACU having their own course, where in order to carry on ACU campus you have to pass ACU’s course,” Merriman said.
Jamie Elswood, senior exercise science and criminal justice major from San Antonio, believes passing this bill will make ACU a safer campus. “If someone wants to rob me of my laptop, iPhone and wallet on my way back to my car after my night class and they know it’s possible I may be armed, they are going to think twice about it,” Elswood said.
Merriman and Elswood both participate in Students for Concealed Carry, a nation-wide group supporting students protecting themselves on college campuses. According to their Facebook page, Students for Concealed Carry will be hosting “The Empty Holster Protest” from April 8-12. This protest is an attempt to spread awareness about concealed carrying laws on college campuses by having college students wear empty holsters to symbolize the rules against concealed carrying for people with CHLs.
Merriman believes students should have the right to protect themselves. In the event of a shooting, he said, “Would you rather have a gun in your hand to protect yourself, or a cop on the phone?”