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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Protest for protection

In a national week-long protest against state laws and school policies that keep students from carrying handguns on campus, students will wear empty holsters to demonstrate their desire to carry handguns on campus.
The demonstration is part of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus’s third national Empty Holster Protest.
On April 8, the Texas House of Representatives was presented with House Bill 1893, which passed through the House committee with a 77-vote majority.
HB 1893 calls for concealed handgun license holders to be able to “carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder’s person while the license holder is on the campus of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state.”
The bill is waiting to be voted on by the House.
To receive a CHL, people 21 and older must take a 10-hour class, which teaches when people can and cannot defend themselves. There are written and shooting tests that must be taken upon completion of the class.
CHL holders must also pass state and federal background checks. The background checks do not allow for any felonies or domestic violence.
To receive a CHL, the only offenses that can be present on the applicant’s recors is traffic tickets for the past five years.
Roughly 314,000 Texans have CHLs, and statistics show license holders have a 5 percent lower crime rate than the average population.
“I believe the bill gives law-abiding adults who are responsible and able to defend themselves everywhere else the ability to defend themselves on campus,” said Texas Director for the SCCC Daniel Crocker. “Every crime that happens off campus can happen on campus. It’s not a debate over who can carry but who can carry everywhere else.”
While the House is busy determining whether or not to pass the bill, administrative and student government officials are researching how it will affect Texas A&M students if passed.
“Before any decision is made at Texas A&M, it needs to be researched whether bringing more guns to campus will actually be effective in the increasing campus safety,” said Student Body President-Elect Eric Beckham, a junior petroleum engineering major.
University President Elsa Murano said she is aware of the legislation regarding concealed handguns on campus and said the University is studying legislation and the “possible ramifications for Texas A&M University if such a bill were to become law.”
“We are mindful that Texas A&M, is and has long been, an exceptionally safe place for students, faculty, staff and visitors; thanks in no small part to a well-trained and professional campus police department and to the caliber of the people who populate our campus,” she said.

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