By Jim Vertuno | Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas will allow holders of concealed-handgun licenses to carry their weapons into public university buildings, classrooms, and dorms starting Monday, which is also the 50th anniversary of the mass shooting at the University of Texas’ landmark clock tower.
The campus-carry law pushed by Governor Greg Abbott and the Republican legislative majority will make Texas one of a handful of states that guarantee the right to carry concealed guns on campus.
Anyone who holds a Texas handgun license will be able to have a concealed hangun on campus.
To get a license, a person must be at least 21 (18 if in the military) and pass both classroom and gun range training courses. There are also restrictions on convicted felons, people charged with felonies, and high-level misdemeanors, or people with a history of mental illness.
Texas has more than 1 million holders of concealed handgun licenses.
Generally speaking, the law allows guns in buildings, classrooms, and dorms, but rules may differ from campus to campus, as each school is required to map that out.
For example, at the University of Texas at Austin, where faculty and students vigorously protested the law, teachers will be allowed to declare their offices as gun-free zones, but most will post signs announcing it.
Dorm residents can have guns in common areas, such as dining areas and lounges, but not sleeping rooms, where no storage of weapons is allowed. Exceptions to the room restrictions will be made for visiting family members who are licensed to carry handguns.
At Texas A&M University, guns are allowed in dorm rooms and teachers must get permission to ban guns from their office.