Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Campus carry bill approved

By Nicholas Bostick


A Texas State House committee approved a bill that will allow citizens with concealed handgun licenses to carry weapons on public college campuses throughout the state. This is one of several gun bills currently being discussed during the 84th Legislative Session.

The House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee passed House Bill 937 March 31, according to a blog post on The bill will now be sent to the House Calendars Committee, after which the full House will vote on the measure.

The Senate version of the bill (SB 11) was sent to the House on March 20, according to Texas Legislature Online. The House committee did not act on the bill immediately, however, opting to pass legislation regarding the licensed open carry of handguns during the committee’s meeting on March 26.

The committee’s chairman said amendments made by the Senate were the reason for the delay, according to

College administrators and students across the state have voiced dissatisfaction with the proposed legislation. In a survey of 828 Texans registered to vote, 63 percent of respondents said they were opposed to concealed handguns on college campuses. Anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety conducted the survey.

In 2011, the Houston Community College Board of Trustees raised concerns about possible increases in insurance costs related to campus carry legislation. Dan Arguijo, a spokesperson for Houston Community College, said there could be a possible $780,000- $900,000 increase in liability insurance premiums per year, according to a 2011 article by The Texas Tribune.

In an email, Brookhaven College President Thom Chesney said the college is assessing the potential financial impact this bill may cause. He also addressed another possible concern for Brookhaven students, staff and faculty.

“In many of the conversations of which I have been a part, concerns have been raised about Brookhaven in particular,” Chesney said about the Senate’s version of the bill. “We are not only a college campus but also the home of a Head Start Center and the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Early College High School. I know of no other college in Texas with similarly complex circumstances.”

As of press date, there is no information on whether programs such as the Early College High School or Head Start will affect any campus carry law.

“We as college administration and a police department would have to allow [CHL certified students to bring weapons on campus],” Brookhaven Police Chief John Klingensmith said. “We can’t write a policy that supersedes what [the bill] says unless you’re a private or independent school like SMU, which [Brookhaven] is not.”

Klingensmith also said his only concerns with the possible passing of HB 937 into law would be a student seeing another with a concealed weapon and calling the police, and the possible case of mistaken identity during an emergency situation. “I just honestly don’t think they get enough training,” he said in regards to those licensed to carry concealed weapons.

The Idaho state legislature passed similar legislation on July 1, 2014, despite “overwhelming opposition from the higher education and law enforcement communities,” according to However, Idaho requires additional training for a CHL holder to carry weapons on campus.

Two months after the law went into effect, an Idaho State University professor accidentally discharged his weapon during a class, shooting himself in the foot, according to an article from thedailybeast. com.

However, supporters of the bill have contested that even if citizens are allowed to bring concealed weapons on campus, the likelihood they will do so is statistically slim. There are roughly 826,000 active gun license holders in Texas, which amounts to around 3 percent of the state’s population, according to

“I don’t think it’s going to change how we do our job,” Klingensmith said. “People are overly concerned or alarmed about it because they think it’s going to be like the Wild Wild West. When they first started concealed carry, people were really freaking out: ‘People are going to start shooting each other.’ It’s been rare that that has happened.”

Students can find more information on the aforementioned bills, as well as other bills deemed by DCCCD to be significant to students in the district, at AU/GovAffairs.

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