Students divided over concealed carry debate
By Danielle Bean—
The proposal to allow licensed individuals to carry concealed weapons on campuses, House Bill 972, which didn’t make it through the Texas Senate last session, continues to create controversy among Tarleton students.
“I just feel that students with a concealed carry would help make others as well as themselves feel safer,” said freshman Nathan Carreon. “And if anything ever did happen on a campus, it is quite possible that it could either be prevented or at least quickly be put to an end before anything really horrible happens.”
Junior Sara Bolinger said it could be “a bad idea because students might have one just because they can and then have anger issues and then they can just fire it for no reason.”
Sophomore Kelly Annestrand said her opinion is that “while there are legitimate and valid concerns involving concealed weapons to be allowed on campus, I believe it has the potential to be more beneficial than detrimental…”
“I would support teachers having concealed weapons but not students,” said freshman Dylan Lee. “What’s to stop a kid who is being bullied at school to just pull out their gun and shoot? It’s better if limited to teachers in my opinion.”
In support of this law, the national organization Students for Concealed Carry mounts its Empty Holster protest each year. This protest involves students coming to classes wearing empty gun holsters and distributing literature and giving information about laws in their particular state that would allow for students to carry concealed weapons. Though Tarleton has not participated in this protest, students at several other Texas universities have, including University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University and Baylor University.
Tarleton campus rules state that no firearms of any kind are permitted on campus without the proper authority. The campus security manual details the penalty for possessing a firearm on campus and provides guidance on what to do if an individual on campus is using a firearm in a threatening manner.
The current Texas law allows people to keep firearms in locked vehicles in parking lots on public college campuses. This law allows the university to make the choice as to whether they wish to allow this on their grounds. Private universities also have the option of opting in to this law.