The Texas state legislature is debating a bill that has sparked outrage amongst college students and parents.
Senate bill 354 would allow Texans to carry concealed handguns onto college and university campuses. Although this measure has garnered support from many Republicans in the chamber, it remains stalled in the senate because there aren't enough commited votes. "I'm hoping this is just a bump in the road," said Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who sponsers the bill.
To pass this bill, two-thirds(or 21 votes) of the Texas senate needs to approve it. Rep. Wentworth admits that he does not have the votes for Senate bill 354...partially due to Democratic Sen. Mario Gallegos Jr withdrawing his support.
In April, the Houston Community College Board of Trustees agreed on a resolution that strongly urges Texas legislators to oppose allowing guns on college campuses. Along with concerns about student and faculty safety, the letter says that there might be “fiscal burden.” To be more specific, this could cost colleges and universities around Texas an additional $780,000 to $900,000 per year in liability insurance payments, according to HCC spokesman Dan Arguijo.
So if you were a lawmaker in Austin, how would you vote? Do you believe that students should have the right to protect themselves, or do you believe this is a dangerous risk that isn't worth taking?
--Roshawnci Nicole Blanton