Campus concealed carry bill is halfway through Texas legislature

Just as some Texans are wondering how they'll feel when they see someone in public openly carrying a pistol, students on Texas college campuses are wondering how they'll feel knowing the student next to them could be carrying a concealed weapon.

Campus carry is halfway through the state legislature, and if it becomes law, public colleges and universities will have no choice but to comply.

"I really think it's going to make people feel safer ultimately because stuff does happen on campus," said University of Houston student Katie Hall. Hall told Fox26 she carries mace with her, and being 21 she would consider getting herself a Concealed Handgun License.

Only CHL holders could legally carry on campus. They would have to meet all state requirements including passing a background check.

"I support it if they do have background checks," said another UH student, Micaela Mendiola. "I believe in our right to bear arms." The 20 year old Mendiola says the heart of the UH campus feels safe to her, but it's worrisome around the edges, and she says there have been robberies in the area where she lives.

UH Student Body President has a different viewpoint on student safety.

"I think there's a perception of crime that takes place at UH that isn't necessarily accurate," Charles Haston told Fox26. Haston believes the campus is as safe as anywhere in Houston, but incidents on or near campus are just more widely reported.

Haston's concerns over campus carry have more to do with how a well-intentioned CHL holder might react if there's an active shooter situation.

"People have a hard enough time shooting a target that isn't shooting back at them," Haston said. "The other issue is when police come into an active shooter situation, how are they supposed to differentiate between the good guy with the gun and a bad guy with the gun?"

The University of Houston says it's been consistently opposed to campus carry. Rice University and the University of St. Thomas say they are reserving judgment on the issue, waiting to see what, if anything, becomes the new state law.