TX Senate passes bill proposing carrying guns on public colleges

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX-It's an issue that has Texans divided, a proposal to allow people with concealed handgun licenses to carry on college campuses.
Monday night, the bill cleared the first hurdle when it was passed by the Texas senate. It passed 19-12 and now it goes to the Texas house. If it passes there and the governor signs it into law, concealed handgun license holders could carry weapons on public college campuses. I spoke with some area school administrators and college students about what they think of the proposal that's now one step closer to law.
Student Meghan Pearson grew up around guns, but she's not comfortable knowing that her classmates could be carrying them.
"I wouldn't really particularly want someone walking around with a gun to class. Conflicts happen, people get angry, I mean, tons of stuff can happen," she said.
Grayson County College director of marketing, Shelle Cassell said concealed weapons on-campus would make it difficult for campus police to assess a dangerous situation.
"They won't know who's friend or who's foe. They'll just see a bunch of weapons drawn and so it will complicate their ability to handle the situation," she said.
Academic advisor Charles Leslie Jr. said guns have no place in a stressful college environment.
"They have enough stress, there are a lot of people under a lot of stress because of jobs and finances. Just pressure," he said.
Owner of Red River Firearms, Jason Webb, said it's not easy to obtain a concealed handgun license and anyone who applies must go through extensive training.
"It's a big responsibility to carry a firearm, it's not through osmosis that you get a concealed license and automatically, you're Lethal Weapon," he said.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, to get a concealed handgun license, applicants must be at least 21 years old, they cannot be a convicted felon and must have completed proper handgun training. But Cassell said meeting these requirements is not enough to ensure safety on-campus.
"People who are trained and have a concealed weapons license are trained to handle the weapon, they just may not be skilled in the psychology behind group dynamics and some other things," she said.
Another student, Jesse Richardson, said the decision to allow guns on campus is a gateway to another incident like Columbine.
"A couple of students might come loose and they might just start busting on people. And they already got the gun on campus and you allowed it so it will come back on you," he said.
Earlier Tuesday, we asked you what you think, would allowing concealed handgun license holders to carry guns on-campus make Texas colleges safer?
Fifty-one percent of you said yes, while 49 percent of you said no. The bill now goes to the Texas house.

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