HB 972 by Rep. Allen Fletcher and Sen. Brian Birdwell significantly moves forward the issue of personal protecton on college and university campuses.
First of all, HB 972 strikes and removes the offense of committing a 3rd degree felony for the possession of a firearm on the “premises” of a private or public college or university for CHLs and for commissioned, uniformed security officers. No opting in or opting out. The felony is removed and that’s a very big deal!
College presidents may or may not adopt rules or regulations prohibiting CHLs from carrying on campus; however, if they decide to prohibit they must consult with students, faculty, staff, and law enforcement and involve these people in the decision-making process. If a prohibition is decided, it may only remain in effect for one year. At the end of the year the rule must again be reviewed through this same consulting process and the ban renewed or amended. Every single year!
HB 972 provides civil immunity for colleges and universities who move forward to allow personal protection on campus.
Finally whether or not the college or university, public or private, modifies their employment policy and/or their student code of conduct for licensees, the rule-making authority will not extend to a CHL student’s personal vehicle parked on the university’s parking lot. You might recall this problem was fixed with the passage of SB 321 for college faculty and staff last session; however, not for students.
Right now a graduate student attending night classes at St. Ed’s in Austin, might have his licensed concealed handgun in his car while at work Then he must go home and secure the firearm before coming onto campus to class. If this licensed adult-student is caught with a handgun in his vehicle while at night school, he can be expelled by the university.
Stripping the felony is a giant first-step forward. Requiring university and colleges to annually involve students, faculty, staff and college law enforcement in rule-making or rule-amending is another step forward, and protecting the personal safety of students who commute has been a priority objective.
Call your Texas Senator to support HB 972 by Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury).
Your messages needs to be “Please Vote For Consideration and Then Vote for Passage of HB 972”.
In the Texas Senate it takes 2/3s of the Senate to vote to bring ANY bill to the Senate floor for consideration and passage.
This means 21 Senators must vote to discuss HB 972. There 19 Republican Senators.
HB 972 is on the Senate Intent Calendar. We need 21 to bring it to the Senate floor, today or tomorrow. Bills then pass or fail by a simple majority.
The students need you. Don’t give the liberal anti-gunners a win.
Source: Texas State Rifle Association