University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves announced the decision to allow handguns in classrooms on his campus.
In a Feb. 17 letter to UT students and staff, Fenves said that while he doesn't personally support guns on campus, he has an obligation to abide by the controversial campus carry law that permits handguns in classrooms.
"I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date," he wrote in the letter.
"I empathize with the many faculty, staff, students and parents of students who signed petitions, sent emails and letters, and organized to ban guns from campus and especially classrooms," he added. "As a professor, I understand the deep concerns raised by so many. However, as president, I have an obligation to uphold the law.”
This law was recommended by a study panel in December 2015, KTRK reports. All public universities in Texas are required to implement the law by Aug. 1.
Though the law allows handguns in most classrooms, there will still be rules within the law, including the prohibition of guns in residence halls, polling places, areas with pre-K through 12 activities, campus courtrooms, patient care areas and science labs.
A weapon must also not be visible on campus, and license holders must either carry the gun at all times or keep it locked in their vehicle, dorm or gun safe.