Legal gun owners in Texas may soon be able to carry concealed firearms on college campuses now that the Legislature has overwhelmingly passed a gun rights bill.
The measure sailed through a final vote on Sunday, two days after lawmakers passed a bill allowing Texans to carry firearms openly throughout the state. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign both bills into law in the coming days.
The so-called Campus Carry measure cleared Texas’ House of Representatives by a 98-to-47 vote.
“As a student and a veteran, I appreciate the fact that I will be able to defend myself and my fellow students in the unlikely event that there is an active shooter at my university,” CJ Grisham, president and founder of a gun rights’ group known as Open Carry Texas, said in a statement on the group’s Facebook page. “This is common sense legislation that ensure[s] our students and faculties will now be ... safer having abolished a major gun free, victim spree zone.”
The bill would allow licensed gun owners in Texas to carry a concealed handgun while on a college campus. Campus presidents could prohibit carrying weapons in certain areas, but would be barred from establishing blanket provisions to prevent licensed gun owners from carrying their weapons on campus.
Openly carrying a firearm on a Texas campus still would violate state law.
Abbott, who entered office in 2014, reacted with a celebratory tweet on Friday after lawmakers passed legislation allowing gun owners to carry their weapons in the open on city streets.
“Open Carry just passed in both the Texas House & Senate,” he wrote. “Next destination: My Pen.”
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