Guns On Campus

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

On Friday, Santa Fe, Texas, was the site of the latest mass shooting at a school in the U.S. Ten people were killed and 13 injured after a 17-year-old student entered the school with his father's shotgun and handgun.

Someone is selling a rifle they say was used in a mass shooting at the University of Texas campus almost 50 years ago. Charles Whitman killed 16 people on August 1, 1966 and wasn't stopped until Austin police officer Houston McCoy shot him at the top of the UT tower.

A listing on the Texas Gun Trader website shows a starting bid of $25,000 for the Remington 700 ADL with Lupold scope. Donald Weiss says he's selling it for a collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

The controversial policy of allowing armed marshals at public schools could soon be a reality for some Texas school districts. Under a new law passed during the most recent legislative session, school administrators may designate a trained employee to act as school marshal, authorized to carry a concealed handgun to respond in emergency situations.

Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 1009, also known as the Protection of Children Act, into law this June. Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, penned the bill in response to the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

83rd Lege's Regular Session: What Happened, What Didn't

May 28, 2013
Bob Daemmrich/Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Todd Wiseman via Texas Tribune

It's been a whirlwind of an end to the 83rd Legislature's regular session, and with Monday's announcement of a special session, lawmakers aren't done. Here's a look at the deals reached and the measures that fell short during the 140 days of the regular session. 


Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

A campus carry bill declared dead earlier in the Texas legislative session has gotten a second life after a Senate committee gave it a hearing on May 14.

The packed room at the Capitol seemed familiar Tuesday – many testifying against a bill that would allow students, faculty and staff to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

The Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee is holding a public hearing this afternoon on a bill that would allow guns on college campuses.

The Texas House approved HB 972 two weeks ago. 

Pro-Gun Bills Expected to Move From Texas House to Senate

May 6, 2013
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT

In recent days, Texas state senators have expressed opposition to passing bills this session to expand where Texans can carry their concealed handguns – places like college campuses.

But on Saturday, House members passed a number of gun-friendly bills, including one that would make it easier to bring concealed handguns into campus buildings – classrooms included. House Bill 972, by State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, says colleges and universities are not “crime-free zones.”

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Texas is a gun-friendly state. I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know. That fact is easy to see during any given legislative session, when bills are often filed expanding where people can carry in the state.

TX Senator Wants Students to Have Right to Keep Guns in Cars

Apr 30, 2013
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Texas college students are a step closer to being allowed to bring concealed handguns onto campuses.

That's after the state Senate passed a bill today that would let students, as well as faculty and staff, who have concealed carry licenses, to bring firearms onto campus. Guns would not be welcomed, however, inside classrooms or libraries.

Texas Tribune

A Texas Senate bill that would let students carry concealed handguns on college campuses is dead this legislative session, with one senator saying it’s time for a “cooling off” period. 

The chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee says he gets why some want to legalize concealed carry on college campuses. Students are doing it illegally, he says.

"My first thought was I need to go catch him."

KUT News

An effort intended to stop a shooter at a public school got a hearing Tuesday at the Texas Capitol. It’s a measure that would train school employees in gun use.

Under the bill from Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) a public or charter school with no armed security guard or school resource officer would get firearms instruction for two school employees.

Lawmakers, Public Debate Guns on Campus

Mar 14, 2013
Liang Shi for KUT

Students, parents and police testified Thursday on four bills that would allow some people to carry guns onto college campuses in Texas.

People crammed into a room at the Capitol to testify before the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. One of the bills the committee is considering would allow anyone with a concealed handgun license to carry a weapon at a public university.

Allowing teachers to carry concealed handguns could make them targets in a school shooting, according to one law enforcement expert who testified before lawmakers Monday. State Senators held a joint committee hearing to hear ideas on improving safety in public schools in the wake of a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed 26 lives. 

Texas Lawmakers to Discuss School Safety Policy Changes

Jan 28, 2013

Texas lawmakers are coming together to talk about school safety this afternoon.

The Senate Committee on Education is meeting with the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security to review current student safety policies and to discuss the potential for any policy changes.

Senators will hearing from both the public and experts about how improvements can be made to school safety.

Texas Tribune

News of multiple gunshot victims at the North Houston campus of Lone Star College on Tuesday will likely weigh heavily on the minds of Texas lawmakers as they prepare to consider multiple bills relating to campus safety.

Texas Tribune

In the wake of school shootings -- Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst says he wants government-funded weapons training for teachers.  Dewhurst is asking State Senators to explore such a program and provide recommendations.

"The training involved with the concealed handgun law license is not sufficient in my judgment to have that person trained for an event involving an active shooter," Dewhurst said.

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

As Texas lawmakers have discussed adding more armed guards to campuses or training staff members to carry weapons, Education Commissioner Michael Williams told the Texas Tribune that it’s a good discussion for lawmakers to have, but he would like to see some local discretion.

Photo by KUT News.

Guns on Campus Bill Stalling in the Senate

Legislation under consideration at the State Capitol would make it legal to carry guns on college and university campuses. One of the bill’s sponsors, State Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio,  failed to get enough votes to bring it up for debate Monday.  Senator Wentworth says he’s one vote short to bring the bill to the floor.  Those in favor of the measure say it would give people the right to protect themselves on campus.  Opponents are concerned it would escalate campus violence.  You can read the full text of the Senate bill here.

Photo by Jim Reese for KUT News

West Texas Fire Knocks Out Marfa Public Radio

A fire in the Fort Davis area was responsible for knocking out nearby Marfa Public Radio’s signal this weekend.  The fire burned the power lines that feed the station's mountaintop transmitter.  KUT's digital technology manager, Jim Reese, was flown over to help.  He said Marfa Public Radio went back on the air around 6 p.m. Sunday.  "Marfa Public Radio is the only station [there] that has wide area coverage, so there were no media outlets at all functioning for about 24 hours," said Reese. 

Wildfires Rage Across Texas

Hot, dry and windy conditions kept firefighters across many parts of the state busy this weekend.  26 Central Texas firefighters deployed to West Texas Sunday to help battle the wildfires in that region.  One team was sent to Fort Davis.  The Texas Forest Service told KUT resources were also sent in from 25 states.