UT Open Carry Protest
Protestors gathered on the West Mall of the University of Texas campus to oppose a new open carry law, Oct. 1, 2015. Gun rights activist plan on holding a mock mass shooting on the University of Texas campus. Ralph Barrera—AP

University of Texas Task Force OKs Guns in Classrooms

Dec 10, 2015

Students at the University of Texas should be able to carry handguns in classrooms but not inside dormitories, a task force recommended Thursday.

Members of the Campus Carry Policy Working Group submitted about two dozen suggested gun guidelines to the university’s president amid guns rights groups’ plans to stage a fake mass shooting at the school to end gun-free zones.

Their lengthy report comes after the state passed a law that would allow people with handgun licenses to carry concealed firearms on college campuses starting Aug. 1, 2016.

"Let me be perfectly clear about this. Every member of the working group thinks that we would be best if we did not have handguns in the classroom," Steven Goode, who chairs the task force, told reporters on Thursday, according to NBC News.

The 19-member task force said they felt a ban on handguns in classrooms would “have the effect of generally prohibiting students from carrying them, which is not allowed under the law,” they said in the report. "We felt we could not recommend that handguns be excluded in classrooms without violating that charge," Goode said.

The new state law allows university presidents to enact their own rules regarding concealed handguns on campus. The task force recommended that all handguns be carried in a holster and be barred from campus health centers, child-care facilities, certain laboratories and university events for minors. State law already prohibits handguns at college sporting events.

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