© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Debate In Austin Over Guns On Campus

Oleg Volt
Wikipedia Commons

Lawmakers heard testimony today on a series of bills that would allow college students and professors to carry guns on campus.  College students, professors, and trained professionals spoke to Members of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. Some were in favor of the bill, and many felt threatened by the legislation.  University of North Texas Professor Dr. Tom Silveck said several incidents in his own classroom could have led to the next mass shooting if handguns were allowed in class.

"During my 26-years at UNT, I’ve been repeatedly threatened with bodily harm," Silveck said. "I’ve had a student threaten to kill me on Facebook. I’ve had a student threaten to come to my home to settle a failing grade.  As to the immediate matter of how to protect my students, the dean of the students asked me if I had ever thought of carrying a cell phone.”

But some serving in law enforcement don’t agree with that sentiment.  Austin Assistant Police Chief Troy Gay says only police officers have the foresight to address a situation involving a gunman.

“In these environments we adhere the idea that guns shouldn’t be carried except by trained officials that have undergone instructions and simulations that prepare them to handle highly stressful situations, such as the shooting a few years ago at the University of Texas,” Gay said.

After hours of emotional testimony, the House members committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety left the bill pending.