AUSTIN, Texas - It was an eventful day at the State Capitol, hundreds of people signed up to speak on both sides of this hot button issue.
Campus Carry and Licensed Open Carry are headed to the Senate Floor but those who want unlicensed open carry are still fighting.
As the Senate Committee on State Affairs heard testimony all day Thursday, Justin Delosh with Lone Star Gun Rights delivered around 12,000 petitions to Committee Chairman Joan Huffman. Delosh pleaded with Huffman to have public hearing for the constitutional carry bill as well. Constitutional carry is essentially unlicensed open carry.
Senator Craig Estes, the author of the licensed open carry bill Senate Bill 17 says it would remove the concealment requirement from the current state handgun law so that sidearms can be displayed in public in a holster.
Both bills, licensed open carry and the campus carry bill, made it out of committee tonight on a 7 to 2 vote.
Senator Brian Birdwell says an amendment made during the hearing to his campus carry bill requiring any guns carried into campus buildings be concealed is okay with him.
During the hearing, letters from The State's 2 big universities, A&M and UT were read. A&M showed support, but UT chancellor William McRaven is not in favor. Although McRaven says he does get both sides of the debate.
According to McRaven,"…my new role is as an educator. And I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of students and a lot of faculty members and a lot of healthcare professionals, and frankly I have looked at it from the optic of an educator and I just think it's not going to make the campus any more safe if we allow for campus carry."
According to Senator Bidwell the next step is to work with the other Senators on any amendments. The soonest these bills can be up for a floor debate is in 3 weeks.