House passes campus-carry bill

After five parliamentary challenges were shot down, the Texas House on Saturday tentatively approved highly controversial legislation that would legalize concealed handguns on college and university campuses in Texas. Instead of having to approve the practice, as Texas A&M University has done, campuses would individually have to opt out of allowing handgun licensees to carry their pistols into classrooms, dormitories and other campus building, and at sporting events and other mass gatherings. Under current law, concealed handguns are prohibited from campus buildings — from classrooms to dorms to sporting events — unless the school specifically approves it.

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.

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