Texas considering concealed handguns on campus
Before a vote on the measure, there will be a public meeting on carrying concealed guns on Texas college campuses.
February 22nd, 2011
03:21 PM ET

Texas considering concealed handguns on campus

Texas lawmakers are weighing a bill that would allow professors and students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. Before the voting begins, a public meeting on the measure will be announced soon on the legislature's site, searchable by #sb354.

"This is about self-defense," said San Antonio Republican Sen. Jeff Wentworth, the legislation's sponsor. "It's about protecting lives of students who are totally vulnerable and defenseless and able to be picked off by a deranged shooter, as was the case in Virginia."

Wentworth is referring to the April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech when student Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 people to death. All except two were killed in classrooms in a single on-campus building. Cho committed suicide as authorities approached. He had purchased the handguns used in the massacre legally. (See CNN.com's special coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy.)

Virginia Tech is the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. The second-deadliest happened in 1966 when Charles Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 31 at the University of Texas at Austin. A student and former U.S. Marine, Whitman picked off some of his victims from his perch in a campus tower. Most recently in Texas, a student fired an assault rifle in September at the University of Texas. He killed himself, but no one else was hurt.

"The Virginia shooter was mentally deranged. The people who would be able to carry weapons on campus, if this passes, would be licensed, and therefore fully trained," he said. "To get a license in Texas, you have to be 21, go through a 10-hour course and pass an exam, and go out on a shooting range with a handgun and pass a test.

One would have to undergo a criminal background check and pay a fee of more than $100, Wentworth said. "People do not lightly apply for licenses," he said. "We would have responsible, trained people there in the classroom."

Opponents of the bill are concerned that more guns would mean more violence. Critics include two Virginia Tech students who barely escaped Cho's rampage.

"I was there that day. It was the craziest day of my life with one person walking around with two guns," Colin Goddard told reporters last week when he spoke out against the bill at the Texas Capitol. "I can't even imagine what it would have been like with multiple students and multiple guns."

Goddard was shot four times and survived by playing dead. He wrote about his opposition to guns on campus for CNN.com in January.

Former Tech student John Woods, whose girlfriend was killed in the shooting, joined Goddard in Texas to say he, too, is against the bill.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Politics • Texas
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. David

    I cant say I agree with this, but put yourself in other shoes. Ask woman for example if they would go to a college where concealed weapons were allowed. Mine says she wouldn't and I would assume more woman would say the same.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SiriusVH

    Guns anyone?

    February 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bexter79

    Reading this headline alone makes me wonder who in the world could possible think this is a good idea? I'm stunned – it's frightening to think of who thinks this stuff up?

    February 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SiriusVH

    I forgot to ask: what guarantee would there be that a grade represents one's true performance, instead of one's ability to intimidate a professor until one gets the grade one wants? ....

    February 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SiriusVH

    Well, Bexter, you have to keep in mind that the NRA is not an association of the 'shapest knives' in the land, you know ...

    February 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SiriusVH

    How about guns in hospitals? Anyone interested?

    February 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Soldier

    individuals carrying a concealed weapon have gone through training which should have taught them not only how to safely and effectively operate their weapons but also when to use them. I highly doubt that if a shooting broke out in a classroom more than one person is going to pull a weapon and create a mass confusion of engagement. Even if a gunman started in a large public area, most concealed carriers are carrying because they know how to respond in those situations, not just to be some concealed handgun jockey that wants to shoot anything that moves.

    I absolutely support this.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Soldier

    i might note that there seems to be alot of ignorance in these comments regarding weapons. I have a feeling half of you have never operated a firearm, and probably don't know anyone personally who carry.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. carrotroot

    How do the students in the Texas State University System feel about this? They are the one being affected by this legislation. Where are their opinions in all of this? Just because a few legislators get money from the NRA, doesn't give them the right to pass legislation which may not be favorable to the public.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake F.

      I'm in the university system and even though I can't get my license yet it wouldn't bother me at all to be surrounded by armed CHL holders. They tend to be safe, upstanding people in my experience.

      February 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Craig

    what is truly interesting is that Utah passed this a while back and no one said a thing.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Poor Edgar Derby

      Well Craig that's because some people aren't 100% sure Utah even exists. All I know is that I might've gone through there on a road trip but it was night and I was sleepy.

      February 23, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Earnán

      Colorado has allowed students and professors with carry permits to carry guns on campus for years as well.

      And just like Utah, NOT A SINGLE PROBLEM.

      February 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RUFFNUTT

    i carry a concealed handgun.. the trick is to switch the barrel out that way incase you shoot one off, it can't be traced back to you...

    like this jerk i seen at wal-mart the other day.. he parked half-way into the handi cap space.. so after he went in i kinda backed my car up to his and shoved it into the clear.. well i guess he seen and got mad.. but once he seen my .380 he left and didn't say anything..

    it's really disturbing how many non-handicap people park in handi-cap spaces..

    February 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Underpants

      It's retards like you that give gun owners a bad name. Please bite that barrel and pull the trigger before you hurt someone else.

      February 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      im gonna pull those underpants over your head then pstol-whip you in the cabeza..

      February 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Strong AMerican

    that is so cool that Texas is going to fulfillits destiny as a true wild west state. I think it will be cool to watch on TV when they all start killing eachother. ANd I thought I would have to wait for the state to secede from the Union again or to pass a law to build a fence around the entire state to keep the crazies in. Now they can just rid the world of each other and be done with it. thanks Texas for bringing yourself back into the stone age......We'll come down there when you is all gone and sell the land back to Mexico. Hell, we'll just give it to em!

    February 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Texan

    I went to Baylor University before joining the military and I can say its a fantastic school (with lots of money) but situated in a not so great part of town. Many students will tell you that they have felt unsafe at times, and there are definitely instances where locals from town came on campus and assaulted students. one such instance happened uring my freshman year and the woman was badly injured. I know I would have liked to have been concealing during my stay at Baylor not because of crazed students but because of the same threats that exist off campus.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Karla, LPN

    I have been shot.
    I was not able to shoot back, because it was illegal for me to carry a concealed handgun.
    Since that time I became a police officer, and was so for 18 years.
    Now I have a concealed license.
    I had to pass an FBI background check equal to a military secret clearance.
    As a police officer I investigated many cases of an armed civilian preventing a crime simply by being armed.
    As a uniformed officer carrying openlyI myself never had to resort to the defensive sidearm, not even one time.
    Shotgun, yes, and tactical carbine, but not the sidearm.
    Off duty and in civilian attire, however, I carried a concealed handgun.
    I am alive solely because, on three occasions, I had that concealed handgun, carried under color of my police commission.
    I see this as a simple equation:
    Someone steps into my classroom and starts shooting.
    I shoot back.
    The bad guy stops shooting.
    End of story.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Underpants

      Thank you Karla and stay safe!

      February 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rhthomas333

    Mark Reyes makes a good point. College students booze and guns don't mix. So a dry campus is a must.
    But then the students with a CWP know the laws and must be view as more responsible (in regard with guns) than the average person.
    Next, I apologize if this come off the wrong way, but if VT allowed students WITH CWP to carry on campus then the shooter wouldn't have killed as many students. Police can only do so much and at some point you have to realize it is the responsibility of the citizens to protect themselves. I'm not saying it is the students fault but that if allowed the students with CWP could have limited the situation.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      You clearly are a genius!

      February 23, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake F.

      Didn't Virginia Tech allow carry until the year before the shooting? Even the people that feel a legally carrying individual wouldn't have made a difference try to put yourself in the situation. Lets say you are legally armed when someone walks in and starts killing people would you honestly just set their and wait until your number was up?

      February 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10