Students, parents and police testified Thursday on four bills that would allow some people to carry guns onto college campuses in Texas.
People crammed into a room at the Capitol to testify before the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. One of the bills the committee is considering would allow anyone with a concealed handgun license to carry a weapon at a public university.
Private universities would be allowed to opt out entirely. And public universities could decide whether guns could be brought into dormitories.
Nick Mitchell, a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, says the measure would make students feel unsafe, not protected.
“A university is a place for learning,” Mitchell said. “And if we feel uncomfortable in our classrooms, uncomfortable in our libraries, that makes it more difficult for us to achieve the learning that we need to create a future for ourselves."
David Bloom, a second-year student at Texas Tech in Lubbock, disagrees. He wants students and staff to have options if they encounter someone violent on campus.
“I’m not asking that a concealed carrier walk out in the hallway and engage,” Bloom said. “I’m simply asking that I have something other than a ball point pen, if something were to happen at my university, to watch the door.”
Lawmakers have yet to vote on any of the campus carry bills.