Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Bill Would Allow Concealed Licensees to Keep Guns in Locked Vehicle on College and University Campuses
A bill making it's way through the state legislature would give college students and staff at both public and private schools the ability to keep handguns in their locked vehicles while parked on campus.
The vehicle owner would be required to have their concealed handgun license, meaning they'd have to be at least 21-years-old, have gone through an extensive background check, and have taken the CHL course.
Senator Craig Estes, who represents District 30, says, "I voted for it and I think it's a very common sense solution to a problem."
Dr. Jesse Rogers, MSU president, says, "I have no particular objection to it as long as the guns are in their cars, locked up, and safe from other people."
Dr. Rogers says he does not want concealed handgun licensees to be able to carry guns on campus, but understands that it's not the bill's intent to give students direct access to guns.
"Campuses are very porous places. I think our best opportunity to protect our students, to protect our faculty is to have policemen on duty at all times on campus," he says.
"I think it's more of a protection when they're traveling to and from where they live to the school," Estes says.
We went to MSU's campus for student reaction.
Josh Hoggard says, "I think it's a great bill, honestly, because students need to be able to protect themselves because you never know what could happen."
Robert Sanders says, "I think that it could go either way. On one hand, people should have the right to protect themselves for the most part."
Edith Okpobiri says, "Not everybody uses guns for the right reasons, and I don't think everybody should be allowed to carry guns to schools."
"Especially ones that go to parties and get drunk on the weekends aren't exactly the most responsible people in the world," Sanders says.
"If they have a problem with an instructor, you think he or she is the reason why you are failing a class, they might go after the teacher with that gun," Okpobiri says.
Next, the bill goes to the Texas House of Representatives, where District 69 Representative James Frank says he intends to vote for it.
"I think they have the right to keep and bear arms as long as they have them legally. I think as long as they're in their car and locked it gives them the right amount of protection yet it protects from misuse," he says.
The bill is expected to hit the house floor Saturday, along with other gun-related legislation.