50 years to the day Charles Whitman gunned down 49 people, killing 16, at the University of Texas at Austin, students with concealed handgun licenses will be allowed to carry their weapons on college campuses throughout the state.
While each school can map out their own rules and regulations, the general law allows guns in any building on campuses, including classrooms and dorms, but still can be banned from campus hospitals and sporting events. Open carry is still prohibited, and all weapons must be holstered and concealed at all times.
Private schools can still ban weapons from being carried on their campuses, and community colleges have until August of 2017 to adjust their security protocols before weapons will be allowed to be carried.
Gun rights activists claim this is all in the name of our Constitutional right to bear arms, and can aid in the self-defense, and possibly prevent mass shootings on campuses in the future, whereas opponents of the law believe this will “chill free speech on campus” and lead to more student suicides.
The August 1, 1966 shootings at UT Austin are considered the nation’s first mass shooting. Whitman, an engineering student at the time, climbed the university’s clock tower and shot 49 people, killing 16 of them. At the time, Whitman was in the process of being court-martialed by the military, was living through his parent’s separation, and had a history of abusing amphetamines and suffering from severe headaches.