The University of Houston has released its campus carry draft policy — and officials seem to have banned guns in just about every place where they might possibly be allowed.
The campus carry law, allowing students with concealed handgun licenses to carry concealed guns around campus, goes into effect in August. Private schools can opt out entirely, while public universities are allowed to designate gun-free zones on campus as long as that ban is not "everywhere."
At UH, a university work group recommended guns be banned in all university housing (except for Calhoun Lofts, which is privately owned); laboratories; any spaces used for disciplinary hearings; the school of music, where children are often present; a dining hall, also where children often go; and any other place where the law prohibits guns (places of worship, places hosting sporting events, and health-care or counseling buildings). Any other classrooms and faculty offices are fair game for gun owners.
The recommendations go against the grain of Attorney General Ken Paxton's opinion, issued in December, that banning guns in dorms violates campus carry because it's too restrictive. (Which is probably a moot point anyway, because the majority of people living in dorms are not over 21, the age you have to be to get a CHL.) Paxton issued the opinion in response to Senator Brian Birdwell, who sponsored the campus carry law, after Birdwell thought the University of Texas's campus carry draft policy violated the law.
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“The Legislature will very appropriately be watching to make sure that our legislative intent is properly followed,” Birdwell said at a Texas Tribune symposium last month. “And if not, I assume there will be consequences associated with that.”
Apparently UH is not too concerned about that threat.
The work group also proposed plans to have gun lockers on campus where students can store their gun if they're headed to a building where they can't take it. The proposal provides scant details, but it does say university police will be monitoring it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
So now comes the next question: Who's gonna pay for that?