AUSTIN – Yesterday, Lt Governor Patrick announced that he is prioritizing Senate Bill 11 (SB 11), a guns on campus bill—which would force universities to allow students, faculty and staff to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses. Patrick’s push for SB 11 comes on the heels of open carry extremists threatening Patrick for questioning whether open carry had the votes to pass this session. Given the heat, Patrick took to his Facebook page to appease extremist gun groups and stated that, “Regarding the Second Amendment, our first priority this session is to pass Campus Carry.”
In response, the Texas Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America released the statement below from volunteer Claire Larson, a former NRA-certified rifle instructor.
“Forcing our institutions of higher educations to allow guns on campus is the wrong answer for our college communities – and is the opposite of local control. We side with the vast majority of Texas students, college presidents, faculty, and university police chiefs who oppose this type of reckless legislation. College life is already rife with academic pressures, alcohol, and drug abuse; forcing schools to introduce guns into the mix is dangerous and doesn’t make sense. Campus carry does nothing to respect or protect the Second Amendment. Make no mistake—Lt. Governor Patrick’s sudden focus on guns on campus is an attempt to shield himself from the heat of open carry extremists who are upset with his comments on the difficult passage of open carry this week.
Lt. Patrick is putting the lives of our college students at risk to protect himself from a small but vocal group of people that choose intimidation tactics over responsibility—we urge Lt. Governor Patrick to resist making laws to appease extremists and to instead prioritize the safety of our college campuses.”
Further Information on Guns and College Campuses
• Two independent 2014 national surveys of college presidents—one of more than 400 and one of 900 — found that 94 percent opposed concealed weapons on campus.
• Retired Admiral William McRaven, the former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and chancellor of the University of Texas System opposes campus carry, in an interview earlier this month, McRaven said, “I do not support concealed weapons on campus, because I think the first priority really is the safety of the students.”
• A 2009 poll of university police chiefs found that only five percent believed that allowing students to carry guns on campus would prevent shootings.
• Between 1999 and 2010, the firearm suicide rate of 18 to 21 year-olds was nine times higher than the firearm suicide rate of people 17 and under. And suicide attempts with guns are far more successful than other suicide attempts.