Campus carry sets dangerous precedent with minimal impact

Adam Humphrey

Campus carry has been a dominant topic of conversation around the 40 Acres ever since Gov. Abbott sign it into law on June 1, 2015. A prominent dean has left the school, countless faculty members (including President Fenves) have spoken out against it and dildo demonstrations (odd as they may sound) have even been set in motion to protest the new danger being unnecessarily brought to public universities across the state.

One concealed handgun in a classroom setting is too many. Even the thought that one’s fellow students could be carrying is unsettling and will detract from learning environments.

However, given the relatively low number of concealed handgun licenses issued throughout the state, the amount of carriers on campuses, including the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, will likely be much lower than the public seems to imagine.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, first time licenses are valid for four years, while renewal licenses are valid for a five year period. That means that the majority of currently valid licenses were issued between 2012 and today. During that time period, the state issued 846,372 licenses. That is, admittedly, a large number but it shrinks quickly as one narrows their focus.

In the three counties where Texas, A&M and Tech are located the number of licenses issued over the past four years is fairly small. Travis county, which is home to over one million people, has issued 23,832 concealed handgun licenses since 2012. Brazos and Lubbock county combine for another 17,747 licenses which brings the total of the three to 41,579 licenses.

It’s important to note that in order to receive a handgun license an applicant must be 21-years-old (unless they are active duty military personnel) and meet requirements laid out by the federal government. These requirements are a wafer-thin barrier, though, as only 0.8 percent of applications were denied or revoked across the entire state between the years of 2012 and 2015.

It’s also important to acknowledge that handgun license owners don’t just stay wherever their license was issued. Even considering that mobility, it is still difficult to see a numerically significant enough influx of license holders to any of these college campuses.

Don’t get me wrong: It is ridiculous that this law will be put into effect. But, its consequences should not be blown out of proportion. Let’s hope that holds true before any catastrophes occur.

Humphrey is a journalism senior from Round Rock. Follow him on Twitter @Humphrinator.