Unlike state-supported universities, private universities will still have the option to ban handguns from their campuses when the new campus carry law goes into effect Aug. 1, and at least half of Texas’ private colleges already have said “no” to guns.
According to The Texas Tribune, which is keeping track of their decisions in the article linked below, 19 of 38 private colleges and universities surveyed in Texas already have officially imposed the bans.
They are, in alphabetical order, Abilene Christian University, Austin College, Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College, Paul Quinn College, Rice University, South Texas College of Law, Southern Methodist University, Southwestern Christian College, Southwestern University, St. Edward’s University, St. Mary’s University, Texas Christian University, Texas College, Texas Lutheran University, the University of St. Thomas, the University of the Incarnate Word, Wayland Baptist University and Wiley College.
The list is expected to grow between now and Aug. 1 since the other universities on the list or still deliberating the issue or haven’t taken official action. Officials for a few schools, including Baylor and Trinity University, already have publicly said they expect guns will be banned on their campuses as well.
No school on the list – so far — has announced that guns will be allowed.
“There is no evidence that allowing the carrying of guns on campus will make the campus safer,” the Tribune quotes Rice President David Leebron.
That same comment could apply to all the state-supported universities in Texas as well, but public universities will be forced to allow licensed pistol holders to carry their firearms, concealed, onto most campus areas. Debate continues over what areas can be designated as “gun-free zones,” but the zones will be pretty restricted.
Many college administrators, even at state-supported universities, just don’t buy the line that guns will improve campus safety. Unfortunately, though, most legislators did.