Controversial campus carry goes into effect Monday

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Controversy abounds as campus carry goes into effect
A highly controversial campus carry law goes into effect at all public universities on Monday.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The controversial campus carry law goes into effect Monday at public universities across the state, and some students at University of Houston are uneasy about the new policy.

Antonio Arellano said he took the semester off partially because of the campus carry law.

"If that's the purpose of this law, to increase the safety and have the student body feel safer on campus because they're carrying a weapon, it has missed its target," Arellano said. "I think there's a lot of anxiety, a lot of uncertainty that comes with this law."

SEE ALSO: Senate gives preliminary approval to concealed carry bill

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

Ali Khalafi feels that uncertainty, too.

"Which would affect probably my schoolwork if seeing someone with a gun right next to me, " Khalafi said, "It would be harder to pay attention to the class that's going on right in front of me."

Campus carry does not equal open carry, though. Marine Corp veteran Jon Linhart wants to make that clear.

"A brandish or a visible weapon at all is breaking the law, so anything that I've heard about people being afraid of an intimidation factor in class with students or professors. Again, that weapon has to be concealed at all times," Linhart said. "Meaning that no one should know about it, so it shouldn't influence or affect anything."

RELATED: UT to allow guns in classrooms

University of Texas to allow guns in classrooms, according to new guidelines.

Private universities can opt out of the new law. Rice University, Houston Baptist University and the University of St. Thomas have banned guns on campus. Baylor University and Southern Methodist University have also opted out of the law.

At the University of Houston, there are designated areas on campus that are gun-free, including childcare centers, medical facilities and research laboratories.