Texas is a step closer to requiring public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus, a policy opposed by many higher education leaders, the Texas Tribune reports. After nearly five hours of debate yesterday, the state Senate gave preliminary approval to a measure that would repeal existing law prohibiting concealed handgun license holders from carrying their weapons there. The vote was along party lines, with all 11 Senate Democrats opposing it.
“My concern is to expand the freedom of our most trustworthy citizens,” said the bill's author, Sen. Brian Birdwell, who has argued that restrictions on where license holders can carry their firearms infringe on Second Amendment rights. Sen. Sylvia Garcia questioned why higher education administrators shouldn't be trusted to make their own policies. “This really should be left up to local officials who deal with this on a daily basis,” she said. “You put so much trust in the [license] holder but not in university presidents.”