Texas –-(Ammoland.com)- According to the Texas chapter of Students for Concealed Carry (SCC), Tuesday's shooting at Lone Star College in Houston spotlights the need for the Campus Personal Protection Act (Texas Senate Bill 182) authored by Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Waco).
Although opponents of Sen. Birdwell's bill were quick to point to the LSC shooting as evidence of the dangers inherent in allowing guns on college campuses, SCC argues that the Campus Personal Protection Act, as written, would enable concealed handgun license (CHL) holders to protect themselves from dangerous criminals like the suspected shooter, whose extensive criminal history at the time of the shooting precluded him from possessing a concealed handgun license.
Authorities have identified the suspect, now in custody, as 22-year-old Carlton Berry. This is Berry's fourth arrest since his eighteenth birthday. In 2009, he received deferred adjudication for theft of property. On two separate occasions between March of 2011 and February of 2012, he was arrested for (and ultimately convicted of) possession of marijuana. Individually, each of these crimes—all three of which are classified as Class B misdemeanors in Texas—disqualifies him from obtaining or keeping a Texas concealed handgun license. Madison Welch, Texas legislative director for Students for Concealed Carry, commented, “This highlights the irrationality of those legislators and administrators who worry more about the trained, licensed, carefully-screened adults seeking the right to carry guns on campus legally than about the untrained, unlicensed, unscreened criminals who are already carrying guns on campus illegally.”
In response to opponents who question whether college students are mature enough to carry guns, Welch noted, “Nothing in Senator Birdwell's bill would change who can carry a gun. There is no reason to assume that the same trained, licensed adults who manage to avoid causing problems at Texas movie theaters, Texas shopping malls, Texas churches, and even the Texas Capitol would suddenly cause problems at Texas colleges.” Under Texas law, the general minimum age to obtain a CHL is 21. An exception is made for members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces, who may obtain a license at age 18. In response to concerns about mixing guns and alcohol, Welch added, “Nothing in the bill would change the laws at bars, off-campus parties, fraternity houses, tailgating events, or anywhere else where students are presumed to drink or engage in other high-risk activities.”
Texas law prohibits CHL holders form carrying guns into bars and makes it a serious crime to carry a gun anywhere while intoxicated.
Welch summed up SCC's position: “We're not asking that CHL holders be used to protect college campuses; we're asking that CHL holders on college campuses be allowed the same measure of personal protection they're already allowed virtually everywhere else. We're asking the State of Texas to amend the law so that it no longer places CHL holders at the mercy of any lunatic or criminal willing to disregard it.”
ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY – Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, professors, college employees, parents of college students, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC has members in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC in Texas, visit TexasStudentsCarry.com. For more information on SCC at the national level, visit ConcealedCampus.org.
MORE INFORMATION ON TEXAS CONCEALED HANDGUN LAWS: http://www.campuscarry.com/pdf/texas_chl_facts.pdf