In a vote taken yesterday, the student senate of West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) pledged support to the idea of “campus carry”. KFDA in Amarillo reported 66% of the vote was in favor of “campus carry”. The student senate stated they would draft a letter to the legislature in Austin voicing their opinion on this matter.
Two bills are currently working their way through the legislature with regard to “campus carry”. In the house, HB972 has been referred to the Homeland Security and Public Safety committee. In the senate, SB182 has been referred to the Criminal Justice committee.
Both bills, would allow students and faculty with concealed handgun licenses to bring their guns to class. Under current law, handguns are prohibited from campus buildings.
In a message posted to the Facebook page of WTAMU student government last night Nick Goettshe, student body president issued the following message:
“The student senate voted today on two seperate issues: 1. Whether or not the WT student body is for concealed carry on campus, and 2. Whether or not the senate supports SB 182. The senate voted that yes, the students of WT do support concealed carry on campus and would like to see it. This is by far the most important vote taken today. Even though the senate does not support SB 182 it does support concealed carry on campus.”
To clarify the position favored by the student senate to support “campus carry” but not SB182 that is in the works, Mr. Goettshe stated in his interview with KFDA, "I favor giving the power to the local schools rather than the state as a whole.” He also posted opposition to a “one-size fits all” campus carry bill to the WTAMU student government Facebook site.
In other parts of the state, opposition can be found for SB182. A petition posted to Signon.org reads:
“We who study, teach and work on college campuses are personally affected by the potential of the legislation (Texas state lawmakers filed Senate Bill 182) involving guns on college campuses. Firearms and education should not mix. College campuses are places of learning, not places for guns and gun vaults.”
The petition is addressed to the Texas House, Texas Senate and Gov. Rick Perry and as of this morning has 242 signatures from around the state and around the country.
Signon.org is “powered” by moveon.org, which gained notoriety in 2008 with their support for President Barak Obama.
Another incident at Lone Star College in Houston this January further escalated the debate. In that incident, three people, including the shooter, were injured after a confrontation. The accused gunman in that incident has been charged with aggravated assault.
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