Campus carry bill given final approval in Texas Senate

Eleanor Dearman

The Texas Senate gave a final vote in favor of campus carry, a bill that would allow concealed handguns to be carried in college and university buildings.

No debate preceded the passage of Senate Bill 11, primarily authored by Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury).

“Let me again say some very special thank yous to my colleagues in correspondence with this legislation,” Birdwell said. “Let me also say thank you to the colleges that were on the opposing side of this legislation for the rigor of the debate yesterday.”

UT System Chancellor William McRaven said in a statement he is still apprehensive about the effects of the bill on students, faculty and staff of UT System institutions. 

"I continue to hear from students, parents, staff and faculty about their uneasiness related to this legislation," McRaven said in the statement. "In light of this, it is my responsibility to continue to express our concerns as the Senate bill goes to the House and the House bill goes through the process."

University spokesperson Gary Susswein said in an email to the Texan that President William Power Jr.'s stance on campus carry has not changed.

"President Powers has consistently and strongly expressed his concerns about the safety of allowing guns on campus," Susswein said in the email.

Hospitals, preschools, grade schools, sporting events and residence halls would receive exemption from the policy if the bill becomes law. Additionally, private and independent institutions could ban campus carry on their campuses.

Similar legislation, House Bill 937, is pending a committee vote after an almost five-hour hearing earlier this week.