In January, Texas implemented a new law that allows for legally concealed handguns on public university campuses in the state. Now, one of the state’s congressmen hopes to extend the rule to the rest of the country.
Republican Rep. Randy Weber of Texas proposed legislation that would grant exemptions from gun-free school zones. The bill is called the Protect Against School Shootings Act, reports Beaumont Enterprise.
Weber, who succeeded former Sen. Ron Paul of Texas’ district after the libertarian figurehead retired, already has 11 of his fellow Texan members of Congress co-sponsoring the bill.
“Last week, I introduced the PASS Act, which will permit those not prohibited by state law from carrying a concealed firearm to carry in a school zone, qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers,” Weber said, according to KFDM.
“It is time for Congress to act in a way that will keep our children safe and I believe that my legislation will help us do just that,” Weber added.
The PASS Act has been assigned to the House judiciary committee.
This measure has been divisive even within Texas, where students and faculty of public universities have protested allowing guns on campus.
The University of Texas began implementing the new state law despite it being unpopular. Greg Fenves, UT’s president, called it “the most difficult decision of my presidency.”
“I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus … However, as president, I have an obligation to uphold the law,” Fenves said, according to the Statesman.
Pro-gun advocates and lawmakers have blamed mass shootings on gun-free zones, stating that gunmen target areas where law-abiding citizens are forbidden from carrying firearms.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump has made the termination of gun-free zones in schools and military bases a part of his campaign platform, according to The Hill.
“Now, you know what gun-free zone is to a sicko?” Trump said to a Vermont crowd. “That’s bait. That’s ends immediately. We’re back to sanity in this country.”