Fears of permitted concealed handguns prove unfounded: A very quiet first year at public universities in Texas

4 Aug , 2017  

UPDATE (August 2, 2018): The original post was after the first year of Texas’ public universities being forced to allow people to carry permitted concealed handguns. At this point it has now been two years and there has been one year of experience for the Texas community college system, but if anything, what was a smooth first year has gone at least as smoothly the second year — there have been no real problems this second year.

ORIGINAL POST: The University of Texas system has 221,337 students and 100,312 faculty and staff, and there are over 1.2 million permit holders in Texas, but despite predictions of disaster, after the first year that concealed handgun permits were allowed on public universities, there have been no problems.  From the Austin American-Statesman about the University of Texas:

University of Texas police responded to four gun-related incidents in the past 12 months, but only one — involving a photo shoot for a newspaper — can be tied to the controversial state law permitting students to carry concealed handguns in most campus buildings.

Campus carry went into effect Aug. 1, about two weeks before the fall semester opened at UT. Opponents of Senate Bill 11 feared there would be a rise in gun-related violence at the campus.

But as the one-year anniversary approaches, those concerns have been unfounded. . . .

Only one person carrying a gun on campus was identified in those documents as a student. Huyler Marsh, a graduate student in accounting, posed for a photo for an August story on campus carry in The New York Times. Marsh posed for a photo in a campus library, raising the back of his red plaid shirt to expose a .45-caliber handgun in his waistband. The gun no longer was concealed, triggering a university investigation. UT released a statement saying the dean of students reviewed the incident and spoke with Marsh. . . .

From the Texas Tribune:

Community colleges are armed with at least one advantage: They have gotten to spend the last year observing how the law has played out on four-year university campuses.

And that year was relatively quiet. . . .

“Virtually no impact at all,” is how Chris Meyer of Texas A&M described campus carry’s effect.

“Amazingly quiet,” said Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec.

“I expected it to be largely uneventful, and those expectations have been pretty much borne out,” said Phillip Lyons, dean of the Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice.

A review of gun-related incidents through open-records requests submitted to the state’s large research schools shows no sharp increase in violence or intimidation. . . .

From the Houston Chronicle:

. . . Texas universities have not seen a wave of gun violence since last August, according to a Houston Chronicle review of university records.

At least 20 Texas universities had no gun discharge incidents or reports of intimidation with a firearm in their first academic year under the law, according to a Houston Chronicle review of university records.

More than a dozen had at least one report, including aggravated robbery, an accidental discharge in a residence hall and disorderly conduct.

The Texas Tribune compared records at large research schools in the state year over year to find “no sharp increase in violence or intimidation.” . . .

Even Texas Public Radio concedes that there hasn’t been violence from concealed handgun permit holders. The Texas Tribune notes:

And administrators overwhelmingly say the change to campus climate has been minimal, if it was noticeable at all. As “Gun Free UT” signs begin to yellow and fall from campus windows, there are few echoes of the vehement protests staged before the law’s implementation. . . .

The one other incident at any of the other public universities is discussed here.

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