Legalize Personal Protection on Campus

It’s horrible policy that, currently, a college student has to forfeit his or her basic human right of personal security and protection as a condition of obtaining higher education in Texas. To correct this injustice, the Texas Aggie Conservatives calls upon the governor and state legislature to enact public policy that will allow concealed handgun license holders to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of all public colleges and universities.  Additionally, TAC expects all university administrators, including Dr. Loftin of Texas A&M, to support the allowance and implementation of concealed carry on their campuses

To earn a Concealed Handgun License (CHL), students (who must also be adults of age 21 or over) must meet very strict criterion. In fact, many students already carry off campus without incident.  College students spend much of their time on campus -- it's wrong to deprive them of such a basic security as self-defense.

It's important to remember that only trained, licensed, and carefully-screened adults over the age of 21 would be allowed to utilize concealed carry on Texas college campuses as a means of self-protection. This includes many of the professors and instructors who spend most of the days of their lives on campus. They, too, deserve the basic human right of personal protection.

While many college students make it through school without being involved in a violent crime or dangerous situation, others are not so lucky.

"He grabbed from behind, forced me down to the cold hard asphalt, placed a pistol to my temple, clicked off the safety, told me not to say anything, and then he began to brutally rape me," Amanda Collins testified.

Amanda, a former University of Nevada - Reno student who was licensed to carry a concealed handgun but was disarmed by the state law that prohibited her from carrying it on campus, continued her story: "As I lay there defenseless, straddled by a man much larger than me, I felt every vertebra in my back being slammed into the asphalt but it felt like gravel."

"The question of my life is and will remain to be what would have been different if I had been able to carry my firearm that night. It is a question that continually keeps me up at night as I replay the worst 8 minutes of my life over and over again with several different possibilities. However, one end result remains: at some point I would have been able to stop my attack and consequently two other known rapes would have never happened and Brianna Dennison (a victim killed by Amanda's attacker) would still be alive today."

Recent events closer to home make the legalization of personal protection on campus more urgent than ever. In April 2013 students were going about their regular routine when Dylan Quick, a 20-year-old student at Lone Star College-Cyfair, near Houston, went on a premeditated slashing rampage with a razor knife. According to the Houston Chronicle, Ryan Ballard was at the scene: "Ballard saw three women running down the stairs crying and screaming. And then more blood, as one of the students held her neck, a flowing red stain moving over her hand and down her chest. "I was in shock," he said. "I had never seen something that bad.""

Before fleeing the scene, Dylan Quick stabbed fourteen students in the attack that lasted just minutes and was over well before police arrived. Several students were stabbed in the face and neck and were seriously injured. Four students required emergency transport via medical helicopter to a level 1 trauma center. Paramedics rushed 12 students in all to area hospitals. Just like Amada Collins, these 14 students were left defenseless and at the mercy of their attacker.

TAC believes that the fundamental right of self protection and self preservation is one that shall not be infringed, in any place.

Currently, the law establishes provisions under which institutions of higher learning may have a process to allow individuals to carry concealed, pursuant to state law. Though The Texas A&M University System does have such a process in place, it is our experience that any requests by students at TAMUS flagship campus Texas A&M University in College Station have been quickly denied, with no justification given.

Outside of Texas, more than 91 campuses currently allow concealed carry on campus and have done so for a combined total of 800 semesters. None these colleges have reported an incident in which a license holder used a firearm to threaten or commit an act of violence.

Our elected state legislatures have the power to change this sad reality, and the measure has been up for consideration for 3 sets of legislative sessions. In the 2013 legislative session, any attempt to pass such legislation was either watered down by so called "conservatives" willing to "compromise," or stalled by progressive statist liberals like Rep. Joe Pickett.

What's worse is that our "conservative" governor Rick Perry seems unwilling to do anything about the issue. Gov. Perry has the power to call special sessions at his convenience and to set the agendas for each special session. In the three special sessions that have been called since the 2013 legislative session ended, Gov. Perry has refused to add campus carry to the agenda, or even acknowledge campus carry as an issue, even though conservative state representatives and senators are pushing for its passage..

Personal protection and concealed carry on campus will become a reality only if pro-gun conservative students take actionConcealed carry on campus will be one of TAC's top activism activities this year.  Here are things you can do now to help advance concealed carry policy:

  • Keep the pressure on Texas A&M to approve applications to carry concealed while on campus. We strongly encourage all students who are CHL holders to do this! The application can be found at http://policies.tamus.edu/34-06-02.pdf.  After you submit your application (or if you need help), email us at info@aggieconservaitves.org to let us know.  Please also forward the university response once your application is considered.
  • Contact Gov. Perry and your elected state officials and tell them where you stand on the issue. TAC has made it easy for you to contact the right people, just visit https://www.votervoice.net/TAC/Address!
  • Tell your friends where you stand on the issue, inform them of the risks students take to gain an education, and show them the strict criterion that must be met just to be eligible for a Texas CHL.
  • Most importantly, Join TAC and sign up to get TAC Action Alerts! We will inform you of any activism opportunities to help ensure college campuses will be safe for students in Texas.

Many TAC members own firearms (responsibly and legally), and are very interested in maintaining current and expanding gun rights. As we believe the government's right to use guns against us should stem from the rights of the private citizen, we work to advance gun rights for those off campus as well:

  • Reduce the number of restrictions on where CHL holders may carry (such as courts or places with judicial offices, college classrooms, hospitals, etc.).
  • Legalization of open carry in Texas.
  • Opposition to any policy that threatens the founding father's intent of the 2nd Amendment.

Related: TAC 2013 Personal Protection Legislative Position: http://aggieconservatives.org/2013/files/TAC_Lobby_April_2013.pdf.

If you would like to make a donation to TAC to help further this cause, please visit our donate page or contact an officer!