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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, TEXAS – In the two years since the Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) board of directors dismissed former Southwest Regional Director Antonia Okafor, SCC leaders past and present have held their tongues as, time and time again, she has repeated the false claim that she was involved in the drafting and passing of Texas’ campus carry law.

By portraying herself as the person who passed campus carry in Texas, Okafor—who joined SCC six weeks after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11 into law and who served as an SCC leader for fourteen months of the eighteen-month interim between the 2015 and 2017 Texas Legislative Sessions—has secured invitations to appear on high-profile TV news programs (both in the U.S. and abroad), speak on college campuses, and be honored as the invited guest of far-right politicians and organizations.

If members of the gun-rights community want to honor Okafor as a pillar of Second Amendment activism, that is a subjectively defensible choice. However, it is objectively indefensible to suggest that she played any role (beyond, perhaps, being one of thousands of concerned Texas college students who reached out to Texas lawmakers) in the passage of Texas’ campus carry law.

Students for Concealed Carry, the National Rifle Association, and the Texas State Rifle Association spent eight years fighting for the passage of campus carry in Texas. In the latter years of that fight, SCC, NRA, and TSRA were joined by groups such as the Open Carry Texas, Texas Carry, Texas Firearms Freedom, and the Texas Concealed Handgun Association.

Madison Welch served as SCC’s Southwest regional director during the 2015 Texas Legislative Session (the session in which campus carry finally passed). Prior to that, the position was held by Adrienne O’Reilly, who succeeded Daniel Crocker, who succeeded Brett Poulos, who succeeded Mike Guzman, SCC’s original SWRD. These are the people who deserve the credit for leading SCC’s efforts to pass campus carry in Texas.

At no time during the eight-year fight to pass campus carry in Texas did Antonia Okafor hold a leadership position with SCC or any other organization instrumental in that fight. The first time she so much as tweeted about campus carry or SB 11 was two weeks before the end of the 2015 Texas Legislative Session.

In March 2017, six months after Okafor was dismissed from SCC, SCC Assistant Director of Public Relations Mike Newbern reached out to her to politely ask that she stop making false claims about her involvement in the passage of SB 11. Okafor responded by blocking Newbern and several other current and former SCC leaders from viewing her social media pages.

In February 2018, a former SCC director detailed many of Okafor’s misstatements of fact (ranging from misstatements about her involvement with SCC to misstatements about her education) in a lengthy internal memo/essay titled “Who Is Antonia Okafor?” That memo/essay can be downloaded here

Newbern commented:

When the board made the decision to let Antonia go, none of us harbored any ill will toward her. We simply felt we needed a regional director who, like Antonia’s predecessors in that role, better understood the issue. We even offered her a less-demanding role within the organization, an offer she declined.

It’s easy enough to look at the press releases, op-eds, and TV commercial SCC released during the 2015 Texas Legislative Session and see that Antonia was not the organization’s Southwest regional director at that time. It’s easy enough to look at her social media accounts and see that she wasn’t even talking about campus carry until two weeks before it passed.

For the past two years, we at SCC have hoped that somebody in the media would take the time to question Antonia’s story. It is a disservice to the countless organizations and volunteers involved in the passage of campus carry in Texas to let her false claims go unchallenged, and it has become apparent that nobody is going to question those false claims unless we call attention to them. So let me state unequivocally and for the record that Antonia Okafor played no role—at least no more so than thousands of other college students—in the passage of Texas’ campus carry law.

I’ve been with this organization for years. I’ve seen this group defeat a campus carry ban in Colorado and advocate for the successful passage of campus carry laws in over half a dozen states. The real hero of campus carry in Texas never publicly took credit and has quietly moved on to other endeavors, out of the spotlight of activism, including motherhood.”

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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 or tweet @CampusCarry.

 

RELATED:

“Federal appeals court upholds Texas campus carry law”: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/08/16/appeals-court-rejects-texas-campus-carry-lawsuit/

“Student Activists Must Learn to Be Students of the Issues They Address”: http://concealedcampus.org/2018/08/student-activists-must-learn-to-be-students-of-the-issues-they-address/

“Texas’ Campus Carry Law Turns Two”: http://concealedcampus.org/2018/07/texas-campus-carry-law-turns-two/

“Texas Legislative Candidate/Former Professor Omits Important Facts”: https://www.ammoland.com/2018/07/texas-legislative-candidate-former-professor-omits-important-facts/#axzz5M150Mn96

“Everytown for Gun Safety Continues to Ignore the Facts”: http://concealedcampus.org/2018/05/everytown-for-gun-safety-continues-to-ignore-the-facts/

SCC’s Amicus Brief in Glass v. Paxton (Fifth Circuit): https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/scc-sccf-file-amicus-brief-u-texas-professors-campus-carry-suit/#axzz5CzmeJ49g

“What ‘Rolling Stone’ Got Wrong About the ‘Fight Over Guns on Campus'”: http://concealedcampus.org/2017/03/what-rolling-stone-got-wrong-about-the-fight-over-guns-on-campus/

“Johns Hopkins Report on Campus Carry Is Seriously Flawed”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/11/johns-hopkins-report-on-campus-carry-is-seriously-flawed/

“A Refresher on the Case for Campus Carry in Texas”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/05/a-refresher-on-the-case-for-campus-carry-in-texas/

SCC’s Oct. 2, 2015 – Aug. 1, 2017, Texas press releases and op-eds: https://www.scribd.com/document/319141232/Texas-Students-for-Concealed-Carry-Campus-Carry-Press-Releases-Op-Eds-Oct-2-2015-Aug-1-2017

SCC’s 2015 Texas legislative handout (includes Dec. 9 – May 22, 2015, press releases and op-eds): https://www.scribd.com/document/255815743/SCC-s-2015-Texas-Legislative-Handout

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 08/06/2018

CONTACT: media@concealedcampus.org

AUSTIN, TEXAS – There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an otherwise well-reasoned op-ed destroyed by a blatantly untrue statement. Such is the case with Jack Kappelman’s August 6, 2018, Texas Tribune op-ed, “Texas leaders are wrong to oppose red flag laws.”

Kappelman, a recent graduate of Austin’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy magnet high school, offers a relatively articulate, factual defense of so-called “red flag laws,” until the latter part of the column, when he writes:

Our lawmakers are out of touch with reality. They work in areas far better protected than our schools, our churches, our movie theaters, our grocery stores and our homes. Because no guns are allowed on the House or Senate floor, our elected representatives, unlike the students of Texas, have never had to practice active shooter drills. They have no reason to be afraid.

Anyone who has spent significant time studying Texas gun politics knows that the licensed, concealed carry of handguns is allowed throughout the Texas Capitol, including on the House and Senate floors and in legislative offices. The Capitol security checkpoints famously have special lines allowing Texas license to carry (LTC) holders to bypass the metal detectors.

It’s possible that Kappelman, intending to make a case for the efficacy of licensed concealed carry, meant to say that the UNLICENSED possession of guns is prohibited on the House and Senate floors; however, it’s more likely that he, like the anti-campus carry activists who parroted this same bogus argument throughout multiple sessions of the Texas Legislature, is taking his talking points from people who don’t know the Lone Star State or its gun laws.

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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 or tweet @CampusCarry.

 

RELATED:

“Texas’ Campus Carry Law Turns Two”: http://concealedcampus.org/2018/07/texas-campus-carry-law-turns-two/

“Texas Legislative Candidate/Former Professor Omits Important Facts”: https://www.ammoland.com/2018/07/texas-legislative-candidate-former-professor-omits-important-facts/#axzz5M150Mn96

“Everytown for Gun Safety Continues to Ignore the Facts”: http://concealedcampus.org/2018/05/everytown-for-gun-safety-continues-to-ignore-the-facts/

SCC’s Amicus Brief in Glass v. Paxton (Fifth Circuit): https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/scc-sccf-file-amicus-brief-u-texas-professors-campus-carry-suit/#axzz5CzmeJ49g

“What ‘Rolling Stone’ Got Wrong About the ‘Fight Over Guns on Campus'”: http://concealedcampus.org/2017/03/what-rolling-stone-got-wrong-about-the-fight-over-guns-on-campus/

“Johns Hopkins Report on Campus Carry Is Seriously Flawed”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/11/johns-hopkins-report-on-campus-carry-is-seriously-flawed/

“A Refresher on the Case for Campus Carry in Texas”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/05/a-refresher-on-the-case-for-campus-carry-in-texas/

SCC’s Oct. 2, 2015 – Aug. 1, 2017, Texas press releases and op-eds: https://www.scribd.com/document/319141232/Texas-Students-for-Concealed-Carry-Campus-Carry-Press-Releases-Op-Eds-Oct-2-2015-Aug-1-2017

SCC’s 2015 Texas legislative handout (includes Dec. 9 – May 22, 2015, press releases and op-eds): https://www.scribd.com/document/255815743/SCC-s-2015-Texas-Legislative-Handout

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Texas’ Campus Carry Law Turns Two

July 31, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 07/30/2018 CONTACT: Students for Concealed Carry Media: media@concealedcampus.org AUSTIN, TEXAS – Wednesday, August 1, marks two years since Texas’ campus carry law took effect at public universities and one year since it took effect at community colleges. During that time, no Texas college has reported a resulting fatality, injury, assault, threat, or suicide attempt. Texas is […]

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SCC Challenges Founder of Everytown for Gun Safety to No-Holds-Barred Cage Match

June 6, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 06/06/2018 CONTACT: Students for Concealed Carry Media: media@concealedcampus.org SCC Challenges Founder of Everytown for Gun Safety to No-Holds-Barred Cage Match AUSTIN, TEXAS – Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) announced today that Michael Newbern, the organization’s assistant director of public relations, is formally challenging Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for […]

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Everytown for Gun Safety Continues to Ignore the Facts

May 22, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 05/22/2018 CONTACT: Quinn Cox, Southwest Regional Director, SCC: quinn.cox@concealedcampus.org Michael Newbern, Assistant Director of Public Relations, SCC: michael.newbern@concealedcampus.org Everytown for Gun Safety Continues to Ignore the Facts AUSTIN, TEXAS – Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control conglomerate that falsely told both state legislators and the public that Texas’ then-pending campus carry law would allow guns in fraternity houses, off-campus parties, and football stadiums, is […]

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One-Year Anniversary of Campus Carry Brings Changes to State Law and SCC

August 1, 2017

AUSTIN, TEXAS –  Today marks both the one-year anniversary of campus carry at Texas universities and the first day of campus carry at Texas junior/community colleges. Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) celebrates the fact that, 366 days afterTexas Senate Bill 11 legalized the licensed, concealed carry of handguns at four-year institutions of higher education, not a […]

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