Education News

Texas Universities Grapple With New Campus Carry Law

It’s a legal maze that’s wrought with strong beliefs about guns, safety and the second amendment.

Starting next August, students and faculty will be able to bring their concealed weapons to public colleges, under the new Texas law known as campus carry.

Now universities are grappling with which areas should be gun-free. It's a legal maze that's wrought with strong beliefs about guns, safety and the Second Amendment.

The football stadium is already off-limits. But students could bring concealed weapons to class and leave them outside research labs. Or maybe both areas could be "gun free" in the coming reality of campus carry.

“Because what's important about the law is it allows the president to establish reasonable rules and restrictions,” said Marcilynn Burke, associate dean at the UH Law Center and chair of the group charged with implementing the law at UH.

“But they have to be reasonable. Meaning that we have reason or justification for excluding them,” she added.

Burke said that they're considering restricting areas where tensions run high, like an employee grievance procedure. And they're gathering feedback at two campus carry forums this month.

One new group is pushing for the most restrictions possible. History major Alex Colvin is leading Gun Free UH.

“No guns in the classrooms, no guns in the offices, no guns in labs, no guns in dormitories. That's the short term. The long-term, yes, we would like to see it repealed entirely,” Colvin said.

Colvin said that his group is growing. Almost 100 people have signed an online petition asking for no guns in classrooms. They also sent a letter to President Renu Khator with more than 100 signatures from students and faculty.

UH Campus Carry Forums:

  • Nov. 12 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, in the Student Center South Theater (Room 103/203)
  • Nov. 17 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm in the same location

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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