Post Classifieds

Concealed handgun ban concerns some students

By Chancellor Mills
On April 27, 2010

There are laws at A&M-Commerce regarding the possession of concealed weapons on campus. While these laws may be in place to ensure student safety, there are some people who object to those restrictions.

As stated in Section 46.03, Chapter 46, Title 10 of the Texas Penal Code, a person is allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus, but is prohibited from taking it into university-owned buildings.

"A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club or prohibited weapon on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution," the law reads.

University Police Department Crime Information Officer Lt. Jason Bone said the university and UPD do not have separate rules students must adhere to in regards to concealed weapons.

"We just follow the law," he said. "If you're in violation of the law, then we're going to get you."

According to Bone, who was recently involved in an incident of a student being arrested with a set of brass knuckles, the presence of illegal weapons is not commonplace in Commerce.

"I'd say we only have about two or three incidents of illegal weapons in a year," he said.

One A&M-Commerce student chooses to keep his firearms nearby – a Glock 26 pistol and a Smith & Wesson assault rifle – in case of an emergency.

"I keep my assault rifle in my car, and the Glock most of the time in my car," the senior environmental science major said. "But sometimes I keep it [in my room] – hidden, but within easy reach."

The student, who chose to remain anonymous, is in the U.S. Army Reserves and received his Concealed Handgun License (CHL) from the U.S. government. He feels that his legal inability to carry his pistol puts him at risk.

"It's crap because if something were to happen, then I would be defenseless," he said.

Other students, like senior chemistry major Nate Hanson, object to students not being able to carry weapons on campus, simply because he does not see the harm in it.

"Students and professors carrying concealed weapons on campus does not threaten me in any way, and I don't feel strongly against it," Hanson said.

According to Bone, there have never really been problems with people carrying concealed weapons.

"[Concealed handguns] have never been an issue before," he said. "I was around when they passed that law [governing concealed weapons] and people talking about it probably going up after that. But it actually went down at that point."

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