Texas Bill Could Allow Concealed Handguns At Universities

More than half of the members of the Texas House of Representatives are co-authors of a measure that would allow students and professors alike to carry concealed handguns onto public university campuses in the state.  Midwestern State University President Dr. Jesse Rogers doesn't like the plan.

"Concealed handguns on the college campus, really the idea of it does concern me," he said.

This isn't the first time this measure has been proposed.  The Texas Senate passed a similar one during the 2009 session, but it never got any farther.  Rogers, who is a gun owner, says he can't imagine a gun in a dorm room.

"I would do anything to protect our students reasonably.  but I'm not sure this is the way that we really want to go," he said.

Currently concealed handguns are not allowed on state campuses.  No one from MSU has come to Dr. Rogers to lobby for guns on campus.  Some students we spoke with are on his side.

"I just don't want it to be a Pandora's box.  Everybody starts packin' on campus, you never know what could happen," said senior Chris Evans.

"If they happen to get into a quarrel with another student at the school, they might use that as a weapon," said freshman Kibian Thwaites.

But along with the senate, which is expected to pass the measure again this year, Governor Rick Perry supports the bill.  He sometimes carries a pistol when he goes jogging.  Some MSU students share his stance, saying a gun could be beneficial in a tragic situation.

"It's a good idea.  It's for the safety of the campus.  Somebody that's technically gonna shoot someone will probably bring the gun anyway.  Might as well have the people that are certified and can protect themselves to have it, too.  They can protect themselves and others," said freshman Reid Graves.

But President Rogers stresses MSU won't go against state laws.

"We will certainly obey the law, the university, whatever legislation is passed," he said.

Dr. Rogers also says he feels lawmakers should ask police officers their thoughts about the idea. .

If the bill passes, Texas would only be the second state, after Utah, to have such a law.