A new state law has forced the University of Texas to allow licensed, concealed handguns to be carried in classrooms under a rule approved Wednesday by the school’s president, according to this story from abcnews.com.
Under previous concealed handgun laws in Texas, universities were gun-free zones, but the state Legislature voted last year to force public universities to allow license holders to carry beginning August 1.
“I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus,” UT President Greg Fenves said in the story, but he had to approve the rules because of the new state law.
Private schools are allowed to keep banning weapons, the story notes, and most have opted to do so.
Only those who are 21 or older are allowed to obtain a carry license in Texas for concealed or open carry, which reduces the pool of college students who can carry to seniors and some juniors, for the most part. The University of Texas still maintains a ban on firearms in residence halls, but they will be allowed in dining rooms and study areas. The new open carry law in Texas does not apply to college campuses.
The story says that, under the rules, teacher offices are still allowed to be gun free, and there is a requirement that semi-automatic firearms cannot be carried with a round in the chamber. The group Students for Concealed Carry have threatened to sue to change these rules.
Laboratories on campus will also be gun-free, along with areas or events that involve school-age children, the story says. If no changes are made to the rules within 90 days, they will be final.