Texas May Allow Concealed Handguns on College Campuses

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"Most presidents that we've heard from tend to oppose this," said David Burnett, a spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. "I think there's probably a prior political persuasion of most university presidents."

Woods said university administrators, faculty and police across the state are being more vocal against guns on campus this year than they were during the 2009 debate.

"At this point in the [2009] session no one really thought these bills had much chance of passing," he said. "I've actually been getting calls from students from different universities saying 'Wow, there's really a chance of this passing? What can I do?'"

Concealed carry license holders in Texas must be 21 years old, pass a criminal background check and complete a 10-15 hour training course. Members of the military can get a license at age 18. In 2010, the Texas Department of Public Safety reports that 102,133 concealed handgun licenses were issued. Just over 1.8 percent, or 1,862, of the licenses issued were to college-age people between 18 and 21 years old.

Burnett said that if students are allowed to carry handguns, it would deter potential gunmen from entering classrooms.

"This is about a practical need for self defense," Burnett said. "Students, faculty and staff -- their only options right now are to play dead or hide behind a desk."

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