TX Senate gives preliminary approval to concealed campus carry gun bill

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It's been panned by most student groups, law enforcement and key leaders of Texas' top colleges, but has strong support from gun rights groups (KTRK)

The Texas Senate voted Wednesday overwhelmingly to allow people with concealed handgun licenses to carry guns on the state's public college and university campuses.

"Our CHL holders are the most law-abiding members of our society," said Sen. Brian Birdwell of Granbury. "The right to self-preservation is what the Second Amendment and Article 1, Section 23 are about."

The bill passed to the next phase despite heavy opposition.

"I cannot imagine a young person having to go visit with a professor about possibly being on probation, upset over a grade, or to discuss some contentious issue related to an assignment and having a gun easily accessible," said Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston.

"I fully believe that everybody should have the right to have and own all kinds of guns - handguns and shotguns - in their own homes," UH law student Josh Gonzalez told us.

Gonzalez went on to say campus isn't the place for them. A good number of students we spoke with agree.

"We're already in the third ward," exclaimed UH junior Henry Jreij. "We get crimes every day on campus. So I don't know if this will stop or make crime even more frequent."

"I understand the reasons, because we're not in the best area," UH senior Isabel Carrero expressed.

Carrero says she's on the fence about campus carry, but knows she wouldn't carry even if she had a license.

"...just because I wouldn't trust having it in case my purse gets stolen. I wouldn't want to take that risk at all."

A UH spokesperson sent the following statement: The University of Houston Student Government Association and Faculty Senate have been consistently opposed to this legislation. They have each passed resolutions in opposition to this legislation. The voices of those who live, work and attend classes on our campus speak most clearly on this issue.

Senate expected to give final OK on Thursday.
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