FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 31, 2015
Austin, TX: After both Houses of the Texas Legislature passed a revised version of guns on campus legislation, The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus released the following statement.
Statement from Andy Pelosi, executive director of the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus and Julie Gavran, Western Director:
Andy Pelosi, stated, “This is the fourth legislative session that we have advocated in Texas for safe campus communities that exclude loaded, concealed weapons. We find it disheartening that many in the legislature continue to turn a deaf ear to the wishes of higher education officials, faculty, students, parents and campus law enforcement, who together made it crystal clear that they didn’t want guns on college campuses. With that said, we are not surprised in the least that the majority of the members in the legislature put the interests of the gun lobby ahead of the interests of higher education and students (our greatest asset). We do not view this bill as a win in any form and while it does provide some ability for college presidents to designate certain areas as free from concealed weapons, these designations are subject to a two-thirds approval vote by the Board of Regents, who members are political appointees and if no agreement is reached, by review of the legislature. On top of that, college presidents will have to renew their requests for concealed weapons-free zones on a bi-annual basis, yet another roadblock placed by the gun lobby saturated legislature. Even though this bill didn’t go our way, we do want to thank the thousands of Texas advocates who worked tirelessly, not just this year, but over the years to keep campuses safe and to thank the courageous legislators in both houses who fought until the last hour to stop campus carry.”
Julie Gavran, also mentioned, “Texas has some of the top research institutions in the nation with tenured faculty who are in a position to move to other top research institutions out of state. The legislators were more concerned with CHL rights rather than the quality of research and education that the state provides. With respect to “CHL rights”, when questioned on the floor by concerned Representatives, SB11 sponsor Allen Fletcher announced: ‘I am doing this to protect the CHL holders.’ This total disregard of the voice and concerns of the campus community is an insult to the State of Texas. Finally, there were many legislators in both chambers who worked tirelessly with us to try to stop this bill, and I would like to thank all of them.”
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter at@KeepGunsoffCamp