Texas legislators have approved a bill that would allow students with gun licenses to keep firearms in their cars on college campuses. The bill has been sent to Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) for approval.
The bill has a promising future considering the widespread support in both houses. Both the House and the Senate gave a thumbs up to the original bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Glenn Hegar (R). A conference committee did some fine-tuning on Sunday before getting a final approval from both chambers.
Hegar said of the bill last month, “Keeping firearms locked out of sight, out of mind is the only thing I want to pass to the governor’s desk. He added that campus carry “is not [in] this legislation. I don’t want that on here; this is a totally different issue.”
There was some opposition from Democratic Senators, but supporters of the bill quelled concerns when they assured the naysayers that the bill would not be expanded to allow for carrying guns on university campuses. They also pointed out that university faculty and staff already enjoy the ability to store guns in vehicles; the bill simply extends the right to the students as well.
Some opponents, like Jose Rodriguez (D), weren’t happy with the bill. "At some point, people are going to have to wake up to the fact that while we respect the Second Amendment that does not mean we should have an arm in every single nook and cranny of this society," he said about the bill in late April. "I don't think guns have any role to play on campus. The next thing you know we are going to be saying we need guns in church."
Currently, universities are able to maintain a strict no-gun policy on campus. They simply need to post signs prohibiting firearms and gun-toting students are out of luck. This bill would be a major victory for gun rights advocates and students worried about personal protection during late-night study sessions.