Texas Senate OKs Concealed Guns On Campus

The Texas Senate on Monday afternoon voted to approve a bill that will allow concealed handguns to be carried on state college campuses.

The issue was attached to SB 1581 , a bill intended to collect about $30 million in fee adjustments out of education.

Debate between Sen. Jeff Wentworth , R-San Antonio, and Sen. Judith Zaffirini , D-Laredo, who was carrying the bill Wentworth amended, went back and forth during the floor debate.

Both had been students at The University of Texas during the 1966 shooting by Charles Whitman from the campus clock tower.

During the vote on Senate Bill 1581, Sen. Brian Birdwell , R-Granbury, failed to attach an amendment that would charge out-of-state college tuition for high-performing undocumented students.

Wentworth, whose district includes parts of Travis County, has made numerous runs at passing his bill but had always come up short because he lacked the two-thirds majority needed to bring most bills to the floor.

By tacking in on an amendment to another piece of legislation that had wider support, he managed to avoid the two-thirds rule and pass the item with a simple Senate majority.

Zaffirini’s bill would save the state some $30 million over the next two years by ending or restricting some stipends and tuition exemptions, such as Advanced Placement exam fee subsidies for economically disadvantaged students.

The measure faces a final Senate vote before heading to the House for consideration.