Texas universities formulating rules on campus carry of guns

DALLAS (AP) — With concealed carry on campus just a few months away, Texas' public universities have written plans with wide variations on where and how they will allow people to carry guns.

So-called campus carry goes into effect in August after the Texas Legislature last year voted to require public universities to allow guns carried by licensed adults.

The Dallas Morning News reports that each public university in the state can write specific rules for how concealed carry will work on their campus.

The University of Texas' plan would forbid keeping a bullet in the chamber of a semiautomatic handgun. It would also forbid guns in dormitories. Faculty at the UT-Austin campus will be allowed to ban guns from their individual offices, but not faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Texas Woman's University will allow guns inside family apartments at its Denton campus, but not on the playground outside.

"It doesn't really matter what ... our opinions were, we had to comply with the law," said Elizabeth Pauley, the police chief at Texas Woman's. "I heard a lot of opinions, both pro and con. Then we got down to the nitty-gritty of, 'How do we make this work at TWU.'"

One state university's plan is opposed by state members of the group Students for Concealed Carry. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has proposed banning guns from the entirety of any building that has labs with animals or dangerous materials. The university argues it would be onerous to ban guns on specific floors or sections.

Universities have latitude to establish some gun-free zones on campus. But the pending implementation of the law still causes alarm among some people who opposed the change.

At the University of Texas at Dallas, one longtime professor, Murray Leaf, told the newspaper he thought "the emotional impact is greater than the probable actual impact."

But Leaf added that he didn't like the idea of the law possibly stifling academic freedom.

"We're training people to win debates by virtue of facts and reason, not threats," Leaf said.


On the Web:

Dallas Morning News tracker of campus carry proposals: http://interactives.dallasnews.com/2016/campus-carry-tracker/


Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com