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Students for Concealed Carry is a student-run, national, non-partisan organization which advocates for legal concealed carry on college campuses in the United States as an effective means of self-defense.

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AUSTIN, TX - As if to illustrate the disconnect between opponents of campus carry and the current laws governing licensed concealed carry in Texas, the group UT Students Against Guns on Campus plans to hold an anti-campus carry rally in an area of the UT-Austin campus where the licensed concealed carry of handguns is already legal.

The “Oppose Guns on Campus” rally—advertised on a Facebook event page emblazoned with the slogan “KEEP GUNS OFF THE UT CAMPUS!”—was scheduled to take place at 5 PM Tuesday, April 28, in the west mall rally space on the UT-Austin campus. Because current Texas gun laws do not classify the publicly accessible outdoor areas of a college campus (e.g., UT-Austin’s west mall rally space) as part of the “premises” of the college, and because this event is not sponsored by UT, nothing in the Texas Penal Code would prohibit a concealed handgun license (CHL) holder from carrying a concealed handgun at the rally.

Madison Welch, Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry (SCC), quipped, “In case it wasn’t already clear how little these anti-campus carry activists understand about the issue they’re protesting, they’ve chosen an area of campus where concealed carry is already allowed, to give speeches about how dangerous campus would be if concealed carry were allowed.”

If the campus carry legislation pending before the Texas Legislature were to become law, the firearm restrictions in campus buildings would still be much more stringent than are the current firearm restrictions in UT-Austin’s west mall rally space. Under the proposed campus carry law, only trained, licensed, carefully screened adults (age 21 or above) would be allowed to carry concealed handguns in campus buildings. Under the current law, any non-felon over the age of 18 may lawfully possess a long gun (rifle or shotgun) in the publicly accessible outdoor areas of campus. Welch noted, “One of the rally goers could choose to hang her protest sign from the barrel of an AK-47, and she wouldn’t be in violation of the law.”

Despite the irony of the location chosen for this anti-campus carry rally, SCC has no plans to encourage members to carry concealed handguns at the rally. Furthermore, SCC leaders chose to withhold this press release until just three hours before the rally, so as to avoid inspiring a counter-protest by radical factions of the state’s (unrelated) open carry movement, some of whom have a history of carrying long guns to events sponsored by gun-control organizations. Welch explained, “SCC’s mission is to educate, not intimidate, those who oppose us. There is no need for any type of counter-protest—the very existence of this rally belies the argument that licensed concealed carry threatens free speech on college campuses.”

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ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, 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 is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus. For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit WhyCampusCarry.com.

RELATED: http://tinyurl.com/scc-2015-texas-handout | http://tinyurl.com/texas-chl-requirements | http://tinyurl.com/chl-tx-prohibited-locations

Nothing in this press release should be construed as legal advice.

 

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Austin, TX – March 18 – The legislators and gun-control activists who incessantly parrot the claim that Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) is pandering to Baylor University (the largest employer in his district) by exempting private colleges from his “campus carry” legislation (SB 11) are clearly hoping voters won’t remember that the language exempting private colleges originated in campus carry legislation by former Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), whose district encompassed the state’s fifth-largest public university but no large private universities.

During the Wednesday, March 18, floor debate on Senate Bill 11, Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), remarked to Senator Birdwell, “It is interesting that you would put this in public universities—in other people’s districts—but not private, when the largest employer in your district is a private university.”

This is a favorite talking point among opponents of the bill, but it ignores the fact that the opt-out language for private universities originated in Senator Wentworth’s committee substitute to his 2009 campus carry bill (SB 1164). Senator Wentworth included the same language in his 2011 campus carry bill (SB 354), and Senator Birdwell repeated it in his 2013 bill (SB 182). Because Senator Wentworth’s district encompassed the town of San Marcos—home to Texas State University—but did not include any large private universities, there is no evidence that the language is intended to create a carve-out for Baylor or any other individual institution.

Madison Welch, Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry, commented:

 

Opponents hope to derail this bill by pushing the false narrative of a “double standard,” but the reality is that the ability of private colleges to operate free of many of the restrictions placed on public colleges is fundamental to the existence of private colleges. When you consider that private colleges have wide latitude to require church attendance, enforce morality codes, and place restrictions on students’ freedom of speech, it makes sense that those same institutions would be allowed to restrict the rights of concealed handgun license holders on campus. If that is a double standard, it’s the same double standard that always exists between private property and public property. There is nothing unethical or unusual about allowing private property owners to set their own policies but requiring state-funded colleges to honor state-issued licenses.

 

The double-standard narrative is one of two popular talking points among opponents of campus carry. The other is that campus carry would place a heavy financial burden on Texas colleges. For example, the University of Houston recently claimed it would need $3 million for the first year and $1.2 million for each subsequent year, to build and staff secured storage facilities to house the guns of concealed handgun license (CHL) holders living in on-campus dorms.

Ignoring the fact that Senate Bill 11 does not mandate secured storage facilities and would allow UH to continue its current policy of requiring CHL holders living in dorms to store their handguns in their locked vehicles parked on campus, the university’s cost estimate is beyond absurd. The number of UH dorm residents with concealed handgun licenses can be estimated using statistics from the University of Texas at Austin.

According to Austin NBC news affiliate KXAN, only 2.5% of the students living on campus at UT-Austin are 21 or older. According to the UT-Austin website, the university has an on-campus housing capacity of 6,956. If we take 2.5% of 6,956, that’s 174 on-campus residents who are 21 or older. Because 9.5% of UT-Austin students are foreign nationals, we’re looking at about 157 who are eligible for a Texas CHL. If we use the rate (1.3%) at which Texans age 21-23 are licensed to carry a concealed handgun, to estimate how many of those 157 students are CHL holders, we can calculate that there are approximately two CHL holders living in on-campus housing at UT-Austin.

According to a 2013 article in the Houston Chronicle, UH has a dorm capacity of 8,008 students, which is just 15% greater than that of UT-Austin. Assuming that the demographic makeup of UH is comparable to that of UT, we can estimate that UH has between two and three CHL holders living in on-campus dorms (2.4 using the exact percentages from UT; 2.6 if we don’t discount for foreign nationals). This means the University of Houston claims to need between $400,000 and $1.5 million per year per handgun.

Welch quipped, “The university could save at least fifty percent by buying each of the CHL holders a house to live in.”

 

CONTACT:

Madison D. Welch, Southwest Regional Director, Students for Concealed Carry (SCC)
madison.welch@concealedcampus.org

SCC Board of Directors: organizers@concealedcampus.org

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ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, 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 is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus.

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Shannon Watts: Dishonest or Oblivious?

March 4, 2015

Shannon Watts’ organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has recently launched an all out attack against campus concealed carry. But can you trust her? Is she credible? She claims that campus carry will make campuses less safe and has even bemoaned the push in several states to allow campus carry. One of […]

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IF CAMPUS CARRY WOULD COST UT SYSTEM TENS OF MILLIONS, WHY DOES UT-AUSTIN ESTIMATE ITS COST AT ZERO?

March 1, 2015

If the University of Texas System honestly believes that Texas Senate Bill 11, the “campus carry” bill authored by Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), would cost (http://is.gd/YzFo7U) the system $39 million over six years, why did the system’s flagship university—UT-Austin, which serves more than 51,000 students—submit a fiscal note claiming that it expects to incur zero […]

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TEXAS UNIVERSITIES USE FABRICATED EXPENSES TO CAST DOUBT ON CAMPUS CARRY

February 28, 2015

Austin, TX – February 22 – During the 2011 Texas Legislative Session, Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) announced on the Senate floor that, according to the administrators of colleges in his district, then-pending legislation to legalize the licensed concealed carry of handguns on Texas college campuses would cost those institutions millions of dollars in increased insurance […]

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Firearms and racism

January 22, 2015

Recent coverage of the policies enacted at an Arkansas shooting range operated by firearms instructor and speaker Jan Morgan have prompted us to address the issue of discrimination within the firearms community. The policies referenced suggest discrimination and denial of self-defense training by this business based on race alone. As students, we are similarly denied […]

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