Open Carry/Campus Carry opponents and proponents look to future

On Friday, it was House Bill 910: Licensed open carry.

On Sunday...Senate Bill 11: Campus carry.

The controversial bills cleared the House and Senate.

Governor Abbott tweeted "Open carry just passed in both the House and the Senate. Next destination...my pen."

Richard Briscoe with "Open Carry Texas" is pleased.

"All of us worked to secure its passage and we're gratified that we're able to work with the legislature and accomplish that," Briscoe said.

The final open carry bill did scrap language that would stop law enforcement from asking open carriers if they have the right paperwork.

Briscoe says his group is not done yet. He says next session they'll be fighting for "Constitutional carry" or "un-licensed open carry" -- something they were hoping for this time but didn't get it.

Justin Delosh with Lone Star Gun Rights is disappointed "Constitutional carry" didn't make it further than it did...delivering thousands of petitions to lawmakers earlier this year.

"The problem is we don't have the support in the legislature. We've got too many Republicans in office right now that don't support gun rights even though they'll tell you they do. But in the backroom deals and the committees, stuff like that, they're actively working against pro-gun bills," Delosh said.

Starting in August of 2016, concealed carry with a license will be allowed in public university buildings -- frustrating for Jonathan Panzer, the Executive Director for Texas Gun Sense.

"Administrators don't want it, faculty don't want it, students didn't want it, police officers didn't want it. Nobody wanted it except for a very small, fringe group of gun rights advocates and activists. Which...they got what they wanted. But we're worried we're going to see an atmosphere of intimidation and fear," Panzer said.

In the final version, schools do have the option of creating "gun-free zones."

Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America said in a statement: "Although the final version of SB 11 doesn't give universities full authority over campus safety, this is a drastic improvement on the bad policies our lawmakers were considering just days ago."

But Panzer is concerned some of those measures like the gun free zones won't be easy for the schools to implement.

"Yes there are ways for that to happen. It's very complex and it's very convoluted. The Legislature can oversee that and monitor that," Panzer said.

The new UT President, Gregory Fenves, tweeted Monday afternoon that he'll begin working with UT Police, students, faculty, the Board of Regents and others this summer to develop campus carry protocols.

He'll then present a recommendation to the board.

A full statement was released by the University. You can read it here.


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