A University of Texas task force says handguns should be prohibited in residence halls, at sporting events and in certain laboratories but should be allowed in classrooms, the Texas Tribune reports. The report from a 19-member group of faculty, staff and students appointed by President Greg Fenves included 25 suggestions for implementing the state’s newly passed campus carry law, which goes into effect in August. The campus carry law passed this year allows licensed holders to carry concealed handguns onto public university campuses. Each institution is allowed to establish designated gun-free zones as long as the zones do not encompass the whole university. Private universities may opt out of the law.
Fenves said he would decide on the policy soon. The report suggested prohibiting guns in areas where people receive counseling or medical care. Faculty members have been vocal about their desire to keep handguns out of classrooms. Many have said the presence of guns would make them feel unsafe and could limit discourse among students. Gun Free UT, a coalition of students, staff and parents, has been vocal about their opposition to the campus carry bill. “We categorically reject the recommendation that guns should be allowed in classrooms,” the group said yesterday. “The purpose of the university is education and the creation of new knowledge. Allowing guns in the classroom undermines that purpose by chilling free speech and infringing on academic freedom.”