Concealed handgun license holders in Texas can carry their weapons into public university buildings, classrooms and dorms starting Monday, a day that also marks 50 years after the mass shooting at the University of Texas’ landmark clock tower.
A solemn ceremony at the University of Texas at Austin marked fifty years since Charles Whitman opened fire from the campus clock tower, killing 16 people.
Officials at the University of Texas oppose the law. Professor Joan Nueberger is concerned about its impact in her classroom.
“Guns are designed to hurt people. And if you don’t know if someone has a gun in their pocket, you don’t know if you’re in danger,” Nueberger said.
She also fears professors and students will shy away from controversial topics.
“We want students to be passionate about what they have to say … without worrying about whether someone’s going to pull a gun and shoot you.”
Antonia Okafor, who plans to carry at the UT Dallas campus next year, says nothing could be farther from the truth.
Texas has more than 1 million concealed handgun license holders. People who wish to get a license must be at least 21 (18 if in the military) and pass both classroom and gun range training courses. There are also restrictions on convicted felons, people charged with felonies and high-level misdemeanors or people with a history of mental illness.
The open carry law in Texas specifically does not apply to college campuses. Any handguns on campus must be holstered and kept out of sight.
Officials at UT were set Monday to rededicate a new memorial to the 1966 shooting: a chunk of granite more than six feet tall, replacing a much smaller plaque. Crews sand-blasted the names of the victims onto the boulder, The Daily Texan reported.