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Weeks After Campus Carry Implementation, an Accidental Misfire at Tarleton State

Ryan E. Poppe

Less than two months after a Texas law allowing guns into public university buildings went into effect, an accidental discharge has been reported in a Tarleton State University dormitory.

No one was hurt in the incident, and a university spokesman said Friday there was "minimal property damage."

The accidental firing, first reported by the school's student newspaper, happened Wednesday evening at Integrity Hall, a co-ed dorm for upperclassmen on the Stephenville campus. In a statement, the university said the person who fired the gun was a concealed handgun license holder. Details about the person's age and relationship to the university weren't released. The person who fired the gun reported it to campus police, school officials said.

"The university is following its policies in responding to this incident and will continue to make every effort to assure the safety of our people," said Harry Battson, assistant vice president of marketing and communications.

Texas' campus carry law allows people with concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons into most university buildings. Schools were allowed to carve out some exceptions, and some banned guns in at least some of their dormitories. Tarleton State, along with all other schools in the Texas A&M University System, opted to allow them in all dorms. As the law was being considered, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said he trusted his students with concealed handgun licenses to be safe and responsible with their weapons.

Opponents of the law, however, have expressed worry about accidental firings or suicides made possible by the presence of guns. So far, there have been no major incidents.

Read more about campus carry in Texas:

Disclosure: The Texas A&M University System has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2016/09/16/campus-carry-accidental-misfire-at-tarleton-state/.