Texans Could Carry Concealed Weapons In College

Texans Could Carry Concealed Weapons In College

The thought of having people carrying concealed weapons on campus, especially inside dorms, has Vernon College's President Dr. Dusty Johnston very concerned.

"A class comes and goes every 50 minutes or an hour and a half where as a dorm you would be there for several hours at a time in a confined situation," said Johnston.

Johnston is one step closer to possibly having to monitor students with concealed weapons in the residence hall. A Texas House panel voted to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons in colleges and universities. It would become a law if the full House and Senate approve it.

Johnston says, "We would hope that we would have the ability to set some set of rules and regulations on guns maybe having to be checked in, maybe guns being put in a safe or guns not coming into the residence hall."

The bill allows schools to opt out of the provision only if they consult with students, staff and faculty first. Johnston says if the college's community decided to allow the guns on campus more staff would be required And the college would have to spend more money.

"How can you put a price tag on safety and security? And of course there has to be an end on any given thing that a college wants to do but I have a feeling we would all be putting in more resources into safety and security measures," said the college's president.

Vernon College's Chief of Police Chris Bell says spending more money on security and allowing people to carry concealed weapons on campus could help in case a shooter decided to strike. But he doesn't believe the bad guys will think twice before an attack even if they knew people with guns on campus could take them down.

"I've researched and there hasn't been that many instances where concealed weapons have prevented crimes because crimes will happen because people have a bad intention and they don't care if there are guns there or law enforcement there. They have made up their mind and they're going to do something wrong," said Bell.

The bill will now be sent to the full House for consideration. If campuses decided to still ban weapons the bill reduces the penalty for a violation from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6