The Attorney General's office issued a sweeping opinion on a number of campus carry questions late Monday afternoon. According to the AG's ruling, public colleges are not allowed to prohibit handguns in dorms, may not let professors decide whether guns are allowed in individual classrooms, and cannot prohibit guns "in a substantial number of classrooms."
The ruling may not be welcome news for some public universities with strict rules prohibiting guns on campus, like University of Texas, which said in November that it planned to keep guns out of classrooms, dorms, laboratories and "other university spaces" despite the state legislature having passed State Bill 11 in May, allowing concealed handgun licensees to bring their guns to public college campuses.
Until now, it was unclear to what extent public universities could actually decide where guns would be allowed on their own campuses. Reaction to the campus carry bill's passing has ranged from confusion to outrage. University of Houston and Texas State University have each held panels to gauge student and faculty sentiments on what spots on campus should and shouldn't be gun-free zones. At UT, meanwhile, the campus carry bill has sparked petitions and protests against the bill, counter-protests, and counter-counter-protests, including a mock mass shooting offset by dildo-wielding Santas. Private universities can choose to opt out of the campus carry bill, as Rice did earlier this month.
Based on this latest Attorney General ruling, it appears as though public universities that are overwhelmingly opposed to allowing guns on most parts of campus may now be legally bound to do so.
You can read the entire Attorney General's decision here:
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.