Open carry law causes concern for seniors

College campus open carry takes effect across Texas

by Kyle Gehman, Editor-In-Chief

Students across Texas colleges and universities have already started their first classes. They’ve packed their computer, textbooks, pens and also their handguns. Beginning on August 1st at four year colleges and universities, students aged above 21 with an open carry license can openly carry their guns on and around campus.

“I believe that people have a right to have a gun,” junior Ariana Vierra said. “But I don’t think it should be allowed on college campuses. I personally wouldn’t feel safe in my classes knowing that a person a few seats away from me has a gun on them.”

The reasoning behind the law was that with all the mass shooting occurring around the nation, having students allowed to carry firearms would help prevent these shootings. However, some people like senior Evan Hays feel that the law won’t necessarily make the campus more dangerous or safe.

“Well the threat of gun related violence will always be lingering,” Hays said. “But it wouldn’t necessarily be less safe than other campuses nation wide. I don’t think there’s a big enough threat to warrant open carry.”

I personally wouldn’t feel safe in my classes knowing that a person a few seats away from me has a gun on them.”

— Ariana Vierra

This also isn’t the first time that students are allowed to carry weapons on campus in Texas. 11 years ago legislature passed a law that allowed students to carry concealed handguns on campus streets, sidewalks and parking lots. The new open carry law also isn’t a first, there are eight other states which implement this law. However, it has recently sparked protests by many college students, especially at the University of Texas.

“It’s definitely going to affect my final decision on where I go to college,” Vierra said.

This new law took effect on August 1st, the same day as the 50 year anniversary of the mass shooting at the University of Texas when Charles Whitman opened fire from the campus tower, killing 16 students and staff. Despite the controversy on the law, senior Lee Metaxta Rozenfeld hopes that the law will do it’s job and keep students safe.

“I hope that it will make adults realize that if absolutely necessary, they have the option to use/carry their handguns,” Metaxta Rozenfeld said.