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Texas Law now allows students to carry concealed handguns in classrooms

University of Texas Clock Tower

The first day of August saw a particularly controversial law taking effect in the state of Texas and coincidentally on the same day as the 50th anniversary of the infamous University of Texas massacre or the “Clock Tower Massacre” as it was being famously referred to. The brand new law now allows students who are 21 or over to carry a concealed firearm within campus grounds.

Students who wish to take advantage of the law only need to get a concealed handgun permit which will give them the permission to carry their firearms into classrooms and other school facilities. The passing of the law now makes Texas one of ten other states that allows students to carry guns into school buildings. Although several of the state’s laws do vary, with some states only allowing faculty members.

Supporters of the law have claimed that it was “critical” to allow students to carry firearms in order to protect them against any further mass murders. Some have claimed that the 1966 murder of 14 people carried out by former Marine Charles Whitman might have been prevented if students of the University were armed.

However, several other higher education officials expressed their concern over the law as it might actually discourage other students from attending the university. Three University of Texas professors had also filed a joint lawsuit in Federal Court in order to block the law, stating that the law itself  inhibits them from having discussions in their classrooms due to the intimidating atmosphere that it creates. They further stated that armed students will also suppress the open exchange of ideas as well as curb free speech.

Private schools and two year community colleges are currently excluded from the law, but they will also soon be a part of it as the law is set to be amended next year.

 

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