Concealed handguns

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Legislation requiring the state’s public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings is now one step away from becoming law. 

After final approval from the Texas House Sunday, Senate Bill 11 now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has said he will sign the measure.

The state Senate approved the bill Saturday. 

It took about an hour Sunday for the chamber to pass the controversial measure — over the passionate pleas of several Democrats who rose to speak against it — on a 98-to-47 vote. 

Texas Lawmakers Reach Deal For Guns On Campus

May 30, 2015
Augustas Didžgalvis / CC

AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers kicked off the final weekend of the legislative session expecting a vote to allow concealed handguns in public college classrooms, while efforts to curb the rising costs of offering free tuition to veterans and their families collapsed.

House and Senate negotiators agreed on the so-called “campus carry” bill that lets college presidents designate some areas as gun-free zones. A final vote was expected Saturday.

Lawmakers decided that universities have unique areas like hospitals and biotechnology labs, where people shouldn’t be armed. But they warn school presidents that handguns can’t be banned from entire campuses.

Augustas Didžgalvis / CC

AUSTIN — The Texas Legislature has approved fines for governmental entities that post signs prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns in areas where licensed Texans are allowed to carry them.

Authored by Tea Party-backed Republican Sen. Donna Campbell, the plan passed both chambers with little debate, despite opposition from some municipal groups.

Saturday’s House approval 116-23 sends it to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

Local governments and other official entities would be fined if they post signs that might intimidate license-holders who are within their rights to carry weapons.

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Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) / cc

The Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to a measure that would add handguns to the list of items students are allowed to carry in their college backpacks. An initial vote on the bill went down along party lines 20 to 11, with the Republican majority holding strong.

Currently, college students and faculty that have a license to carry their concealed handguns in public are not allowed to carry them on many state college campuses. The bill by Granbury Republican Sen. Brian Birdwell would allow these licensed gun owners to carry their handgun and textbooks in the same backpack while on a state college campus.

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