Despite the initial House approval — it must still be voted on another time before it is finally passed — House Bill 972 faces likely death in the Senate. A similar bill there has not been voted out of committee, and even supporters say they do not expect the Senate will approve either measure.
The change has faced strong opposition from officials at the University of Texas and other public colleges and universities, who have warned that adding guns into a potentialy volatile environment would be dangerous. Supporters of the campus-carry measure disputed that.
Public hearings on the issue have been packed, with emotions running high on both sides.
“This primarily covers adults, faculty and employees,” said state Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, the author of the bill. “”It will not result in a large population of undergraduates carrying concealed weapons” on college campuses.
“The idea that this bill would result in increased violence is unfounded,” said Fletcher, a former policeman.
In all, he said only about 9,300 of the state’s 584,000 handgun licensees are between the ages of 21 and 25 — and many of them are military veterans.