Saturday, April 27, 2013

Not Quite Campus Carry in Texas

"Campus Carry" is one of the major policy changes Second Amendment advocates in Texas wish to see.

However, the latest Campus Carry bill's status is "left pending in committee", meaning a congressional committee reviewing the law refuses to bring the bill to a floor vote.

As a seeming compromise, Senator Glenn Hegar (R-18-Katy, TX) introduced SB 1907.

Senate Bill 1907 falls just short of allowing citizens with concealed carry permits to carry firearms on college campuses. Instead, it allows for those with licenses to store their legally owned and carried firearms and ammunition in their privately owned vehicles on and around campus grounds.

The bill mandates for colleges, both public and private, to allow citizens with carry permits to leave their weapons locked in their vehicles while attending classes or attending to business on campus. It further mandates that campuses provide secure parking locations where licensed citizens may do so.

SB 1907 mirrors policy changes Texas enacted in regards to employers who ban weapons at workplaces. That code, already enacted, mandates that companies whose policies forbid employees from being armed at work to store their firearms in their vehicles in secure parking locations provided by the employers. It also mandates that employers provide those parking facilities that provide adequate security to prevent theft of the vehicles and the firearms.



       Sec. 52.061.  RESTRICTION ON PROHIBITING EMPLOYEE ACCESS TO OR STORAGE OF FIREARM OR AMMUNITION. A public or private employer may not prohibit an employee who holds a license to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, who otherwise lawfully possesses a firearm, or who lawfully possesses ammunition from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition the employee is authorized by law to possess in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees.


In effect, SB 1907 just extends that same provision to college campuses.


      (b)  An institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state may not adopt or enforce any rule, regulation, or other provision prohibiting a student enrolled at that institution who holds a license to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, from transporting or storing a handgun of the same category the student is licensed to carry or ammunition for that handgun in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle or a motor vehicle leased by the student: 
             (1)  on a street or driveway located on the campus of the institution; or
             (2)  in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area located on the campus of the institution.



The bill will allow for students and faculty to protect themselves while traveling to and from campus. However, it still does not provide security and self-defense capabilities for students moving to or from their vehicles to classes.

Especially in regards to evening classes, this restriction will still leave students and faculty vulnerable on campus. An attacker can still prey upon them in the parking garages or other places on campus. The firearms will be locked in the cars, unavailable for the citizens to use to protect themselves.

In 2006 alone, there were an estimated 673,000 rapes on college campuses. Only 12% of them were actually reported. An estimated 20% of female college students are victims of rape or attempted rape each year. 11.7% of male college students are victims of rape or attempted rape.

That is just rapes. the statistics do not account for the other violent crimes such as assault, attempted murder, manslaughter, or armed robbery. These occur on campuses where, in most of the US, law abiding citizens are denied their second amendment rights.