Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TX: Campus Carry Has Senate Support

A bill to reduce defenseless victim zones on establishments of higher learning has been introduced in the Texas legislature.  It is commonly known as a "campus carry" bill, SB11.

SB11 has 19 of 20 Republican senators as authors. They are; Birdwell | Bettencourt | Burton | Campbell | Creighton | Eltife | Estes | Fraser | Hall | Hancock | Huffines | Kolkhorst | Nelson | Nichols | Perry | Schwertner | Seliger | Taylor, Larry | Taylor, Van.

There are only 31 senators in the Texas senate, so a majority of senators already agree with the bill.

The bill is a moderately complicated campus carry bill that removes state restrictions on the carry of concealed handguns on campus by permit holders.. It seems to only apply to handguns, not to knives, pepper spray, stun guns, or any other of the multitudes of legal self defense weapons that individuals elect to carry. Institutes of higher learning may adopt rules or regulations regulating the storage concealed handguns in dormitories or other residential properties that they own. From the bill:
(d) An institution of higher education or private or
independent institution of higher education in this state may
establish rules, regulations, or other provisions concerning the
storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities
that are owned or leased and operated by the institution and located
on the campus of the institution.
It does not force private or independent colleges and universities to allow students to carry concealed weapons if they have a concealed carry permit.  If they wish to ban the carry of handguns on campus, they must adopt rules or regulations to do so, after consultation with the students, staff and faculty. But if they do so, they lose immunity from lawsuit for actions authorized by this sub-chapter of the law. It is similar to the Wisconsin shall issue law that grants immunity to businesses that do not prohibit people from carrying on their premises.

Hospitals and lower level schools and preschools located on the property of institutes of higher learning are allowed to ban concealed handguns with the Texas 30. 06 sign.

This is the early stage of the legislature, but the fact that the bill only applies to concealed handguns seems rather strange.  Amendments are likely.  Substituting weapons for handguns would extend the protections of bill to all legally carried concealed weapons.  It would create a weird situation in the law if a permit holder could legally carry a handgun, but be prosecuted for carrying a pocket knife.

I recall the horror that I felt in reading the student contract for the Texas A&M dormitory, and learning that my daughter would be in violation for the mere possession of a pocket knife!

Few students who live in dormitories will be old enough to qualify for concealed carry permits, but there will be some. 

When Thomas Jefferson's 15 year old nephew, Peter Carr, left to obtain a higher education, Jefferson gave him this advice in a letter from Paris, dated 19 August, 1785:
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.
Jefferson recommended that two hours a day be set aside for exercise.

A campus carry bill came close to passage  in the Texas legislature in 2013.  It passed both houses but was stopped by political maneuvering in the Senate Democratic Caucus, according to an article on Ammoland:
This issue has been fully vetted by both the House and the Senate over the past three legislative sessions. It has passed out of every committee hearing and passed in both chambers, House and Senate.

This session the issue was halted by the Senate Democratic Caucus after the bill had passed in the Texas House
The probability of passage seems even higher in the 2015 session.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It does not force private or independent colleges and universities to allow students to carry concealed weapons"

It is therefore useless feel-good do-nothing legislation. No university will allow carry until FORCED to do so. Count on it like the sun coming up in the morning.