TCCTA blog post: Gun Bill Advances in House

Gun Bill Advances in House

Posted: 01 Apr 2015 02:38 PM PDT

The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety voted 6-3 along party lines Tuesday to send House Bill 937, by Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress), to the full chamber. The bill allows licensed handgun owners to carry a concealed weapon on college campuses.

It’s reported by Ryan McCrimmon, in the Texas Tribune. Please read the piece for an understanding of the politics and context of the debate. Also, please see this previous post for additional information, as well as advice on communicating with lawmakers.

The bill is a companion to SB 11, which passed the Senate previously. Any differences between the two measures must be reconciled prior to enactment.

TCCTA continues to ask that local institutions be allowed to decide for themselves whether to allow guns on campus. Ron Trowbridge, a trustee of the Lone Star College System, recently published this opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle. He makes an interesting point regarding the minimum age of 21 for a license to carry a concealed weapon:

Here’s an alarming projection: In the fall semester, 2014, 88,818 students enrolled at Lone Star College. Of these, 59 percent, or 52,000 students, were 21 years of age or older. If just 5 percent of these were to carry guns on campus, such would bring 2,620 guns to our campus. Studies suggest that a 5 percent-carry on campus among adults is an accurate projection.

As is so often the case, the common perception of student populations visualized by many policy makers is that of universities, not community colleges. The above statistics should prove instructive.

Finally, you will note that private schools, at their own discretion, are exempted from the proposed bills. Shouldn’t local community colleges have the same choice?

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