Texas Senators have voted to permit concealed weapon license holders to carry guns on college and university campuses. And even though the measure isn't headed for Governor Perry's signature just yet, MSU is already looking at some changes.
MSU's Police Chief says he is looking into new training for police and faculty, given a situation where allowing weapons in the buildings is abused. Some students are advocating the bill for self defense, but others are nervous and concerned weapons being so close could be a danger.
MSU's Police Chief, J. Dan Williams is concerned about allowing concealed weapons license holders actually carry guns on campus. He says their main concern is exactly what lawmakers think they are protecting against, an active shooter situation. Williams says, "Somebody walks in a building shooting and you have multiple people drawing weapons to try to shoot back and we get the call. Who do you determine is the bad guy?" .
Williams says another potential problem for the university lies in the dorms. He says students who are licensed and have a weapon stored in their dorms could give other students, who are not trained, easy access to weapons. However, some students are saying the new bill would be pro-safety. MSU Student Franz Welds says, "I don't have a problem with guns being in school. Everyone has a right to defend themselves; it's their choice". But many others don't think it's safe. MSU Student Julia Raymond says, "I really don't think it's a good idea. It makes me nervous. Personally, just walking around campus; I'm not sure who does and who doesn't have a gun".
Williams says, "I am a gun advocate personally but after 31 years in this business, I don't know that universities are the place for people to be carrying concealed handguns". The Texas Senate has already passed the bill. If the House passes it, Williams says there will be a higher potential for safety problems on campus. But he says they will have new training for officers and faculty to prevent dangers in situations of a misuse weapon attempt. While the new law would allow handguns on campus, it would not allow illegal knives, rifles, or shotguns.