February 10, 2015
By Kimberly Reeves
Surprise fast track leaves opponents little time to organize for hearing
Campus carry and open carry bills will hit Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday with the potential of significantly changing the tone of the session.
Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Southside, is the only Republican in the Senate to not sign on to the campus carry bill putting her on the side of most if not all of the university presidents. UT Chancellor William McRaven, the commander of the Navy SEAL operation that took out terrorist Osama bin Laden, penned his own letter of opposition even before his first Board of Regents meeting, set for this week.
McRaven said campus carry, which would allow faculty and students over 21 to carry weapons on campus, said the bill would make campuses “less safe,” not more safe. That echoes concerns of public university presidents in prior sessions, including the inability to choose, as a campus, to opt out of the law.
While Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s state website lies fallow, he continues to update his campaign website, underlining his support of the Second Amendment rights to bear arms. His list of 2nd amendment legislation, which includes the castle doctrine bill and co-sponsor of campus carry, is impressively long.
In interviews early this session, Patrick confirmed that the Senate did not have the votes to kick out open carry.
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