Athens Review, Athens, Texas

May 14, 2013

TVCC keeping eye on ‘campus carry’ bill

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

ATHENS — A bill that won final approval from the Texas House of Representatives on May 6 would allow college students to carry firearms on campus.

State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, is the author of House Bill 972, which would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their guns on college campuses, though not at sporting events or dorms. Public colleges and universities could opt out.

 The bill would allow students who are 21 or older, and have a concealed weapons permit to bring their handguns to class, unless a university stipulates  to forbid the carrying of weapons on campus.

Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) in Athens said that in the fall 2012 semester, about one-third of the students taking classes located on the Athens campus were 21 years or older.

TVCC has yet to make a decision about whether the school would allow handguns on its campuses.

TVCC President Glendon Forgey said, “The decision whether to opt out of the provisions set by HB972 would be a decision made by our Board of Trustees. This issue has not been addressed in any manner by our board at this time.

“I do not believe it is appropriate for me to give a personal comment on a piece of proposed legislation. TVCC is committed to obeying all Texas laws and statues. Our duty is to enforce those rules set for us by the state.” 

State Rep. Lance Gooden from Henderson County  said he voted in favor of HB972.

“We are talking about responsible adults over 21 with a concealed handgun license. These are not high school kids,” Gooden said.

According to the Associated Press, the bill has new momentum in the Legislature, but it remains unclear if it has enough to become law.

Supporters hope the bill will pass the Senate before the session ends May 27.