A look at how Texas' guns on campus law will work

The 307-foot tower at the University of Texas at Austin was the site of mass murder 50 years ago Sunday

State capitol of Texas.

But the controversial new Texas campus carry law, passed by the legislature and signed by the governor past year, goes into effect August 1-on the 50th anniversary of the UT-Austin Tower shooting, where a gunman took 16 lives. "I empathize with the many faculty, staff, students and parents of students who signed petitions, sent emails and letters, and organized to ban guns from campus and especially classrooms".

"Liberal critics deplore that the new law takes effect on the anniversary of the "gun-related" Texas Tower massacre", David Clemens, a Monterey Peninsula College professor, wrote in a National Review blog post, "but the timing couldn't be more appropriate". "Concealed carry is generally allowed in museums, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, and a whole host of places".

Although many states have rejected similar proposals, Texas becomes the ninth one to enact the legislation, which allows students who are at least 21 years old with concealed handgun permits to bring their weapons on campus and into classrooms. Private colleges can opt out of the law - many have done so, according to Reuters - while community or junior colleges have until 2017 to implement the law.

Students should report any concealed carry policy violations, ranging from open carry to improper gun storage, to the UHDPS.

The night before the tower shootings Charles Whitman killed his mother in her bed and left this note
VIEW SLIDESHOW The night before the tower shootings Charles Whitman killed his mother in her bed and left this note. AP

Open Carry Texas pointed out the UT shooting was partially suppressed by armed students on campus who loaned cops their guns and helped pin down the shooter while it should be noted that one armed civilian, Allen Crum, a bookstore employee and veteran, helped storm the observation deck with police, ending the shooting. "I am Texan born and raised and campus carry is ridiculous", Mendoza said. Edens said that while they understood the concerns they did not have a choice as to whether or not to follow the law. "It is my intention to do a holistic review of our Campus Carry rules and processes next summer to assess how we will move forward in the future". Two trumpets played and a military color guard lowered the Texas and American flags to half-staff.

Exemptions on law campuses vary. Individual institutions have set their own rules for complying with the campus carry law and, under most Texas university policies, carrying an unholstered handgun will be punishable by expulsion or dismissal. The former dean of the University of Texas School of Architecture left for a position at the University of Pennsylvania because of his opposition to allowing guns on campus. The university's campus carry task force "will continue to meet regularly as this roles out", he said. But we will be able to measure it in terms of fear - more for some, less for others.

Clinics at the University of Texas School of Law won't be exempt from campus carry, said spokesman Christopher Roberts, although the school will enact a temporary ban on occasions when judges visit to conduct judicial business, which occurs every few years. Supporters say the law could prohibit a mass shooting while opponents worry guns and the stress of college are a potent mix. If professors do not want guns in their offices, they have to orally tell whomever is entering.

Michael Knox, the vice president of student affairs at WT says, "The pool [located in the Virgil Henson Activity Center] for example, seemed like a reasonable place for us to think that it would be an inappropriate place for firearms to be".

Some faculty have gone so far as to file suit against their school's new mandated policy on guns, arguing they teach sometimes volatile subjects that could led to discourse in the classroom that in turn could translate into gunfights. This includes students and staff. "A university is a battleground of words and ideas, and not of weapons".

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