North Texas Daily

Committee to meet on campus carry

Committee to meet on campus carry

September 09
23:00 2015

Rhiannon Saegert | Senior Staff Writer

@missmusetta

A committee of students, faculty and campus police will meet Friday to coordinate and plan the university’s approach to implementing the campus carry law that Texas lawmakers approved earlier this year.

The campus carry bill, which extends the area where licensed concealed handgun owners may carry their weapons on college campuses, goes into effect August 2016. The bill allows for designated “gun-free” zones on campus but specifies that these areas will be limited.

SGA president Adam Alattry said he and vice president Christopher Lee will be on the committee to voice student concerns, like whether or not guns will be allowed in dorms, and find ways of informing students about the changes.

“For us, we’re focusing on education and advocacy,”Alattry said. “What’s okay; what’s not okay; what’s legal; what’s not, and what to do if there is, in fact, a shooting.”

Alattry said he’s heard a common misconception that the new law means openly carrying guns is allowed on campuses, which is untrue. While open carry was expanded to most public places by the same law, it’s still illegal on college campuses. Only concealed handgun owners may carry on campus.

Psychology freshman Codi Garner said a UNT resident assistant told her guns would not be allowed in residence halls. In reality, questions about whether or not handguns will be allowed in dorms, how they will be stored, how they will be kept away from unlicensed roommates and where they will be kept while a student is in a gun-free part of the campus have yet to be answered.

UNT spokesperson Margarita Venegas, who has also been invited to join the committee, said roughly 20 people were invited to attend the first meeting.

Biology graduate student Nicolas Miles said he is ambivalent on the issue, but foresees problems.

“I’m from Florida, so I can see how it could affect attendance,” he said. “People from out of state might not want to come to Texas.”

He also said that after seeing someone openly carry an automatic rifle through the Denton Square, he doesn’t want to see students intimidating other students by open-carrying on campus.

Featured Image: Bill Anderson, owner of Call to Arms, shows off his favorite gun, a 1911 Smith and Wesson, in the shop. Meagan Sullivan | Senior Staff Photographer 

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