New Poll Shows a Majority of Texans Oppose Guns on Campus
Austin, Texas –Today the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America condemned the Senate’s preliminary passage of SB 11, a guns on campus bill that would force public universities to allow students, faculty, staff, and visitors to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses. A new poll released yesterday conducted by Survey USA on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund shows that a majority of Texans oppose allowing guns on campus and at college sporting events, including majorities of self-identified Republicans, Independents, and gun owners. The bill is scheduled for a final vote tomorrow.
“It’s disturbing to see some of our lawmakers ignoring the majority of Texans and college stakeholders who oppose guns on campus and instead bowing to the gun lobby and extremist interests,” said Sandy Chasse, a university language instructor and a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “As a Texas mom and gun owner, I’ve joined police chiefs, campus shooting survivors, students, teachers, and everyday Texans testifying in opposition to campus carry, in favor of common sense and responsible gun ownership. This recent poll just shows what we already knew and our lawmakers are choosing to ignore—Texans do not want guns on their campuses, in their classrooms, or at their sporting events.”
Among the poll’s findings:
- 63% think college students should not be allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus
- 72% think college students should not be allowed to bring concealed handguns to class
- 75% think people should not be allowed to carry concealed handguns at college sporting events
- 66% think college students should not be allowed to carry concealed handguns in student dormitories
Additionally, the guns on campus bill would override the judgment of school officials and other stakeholders who overwhelmingly oppose forcing guns on campus, and impose enormous new security costs on university systems.
“It’s infuriating to know that SB 11, the campus carry bill, would negatively impact funds for cancer research. The Houston Chronicle recently reported that implementing campus carry could cost the University of Texas system more than $39 million over six years,” said Catherine Nance, an adjunct instructor at a community college, mother of two recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and Houston volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our law makers are letting the gun lobby and extremists bully them into prioritizing dangerous, unpopular bills and now, they are also siphoning funds from a hospital that is vital to my family and other families like mine.”
Despite opposition to guns on campus from a majority of Texans and opposition to the open carry of handguns from over two-thirds of Texans and 75 percent of police chiefs, Lt. Governor Patrick prioritized both bills this session. Yesterday, the Texas Senate passed SB 17, a bill to allow the open carry of handguns in public. Texas moms, gun violence survivor Richard Martinez, gun owners and college stakeholders came together yesterday to testify against the House companion versions of these bills, HB 937 (guns on campus), and HB 910 (open carry), at a hearing of the Texas House of Representatives Homeland Security and Public Safety committee.