Will carrying a handgun on a college campus make you or your classmates and professors safer? Will it save lives if a madman attempts a mass shooting?
Those were some of the questions asked and debated on Wednesday when the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public safety heard from college students and other groups around the state about a bill that would allow concealed handguns on college campuses.
If passed by the full legislature, students and professors would be allowed to carry their weapons on campus and in classrooms. Current law prohibits individuals from carrying concealed weapons on campus unless a school chooses to issue written regulations .
State Representative Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) has issued a statement opposing the legislation. “This big government proposal would take away even more local control from school administrators and authorities who make these important decisions regarding campus safety,” said Farrar.
Rep. Farrar said that representatives from the University of Houston Student Government Association traveled to the Capitol this week to meet with her, and the students “expressed grave concerns about the safety of their learning environment should legislation pass requiring concealed handguns to be allowed on campus.”
After nearly six hours of testimony the committee voted 5-3 along party lines to advance the bill to the full House. State Rep. Armando Walle(D-Houston) voted against the measure.