A new Texas law went into effect on Monday that allows people over the age of 21 and with a concealed handgun license to legally carry handguns on public college campuses.
The law, passed back in 2015 and nicknamed the “campus carry” law, allows eligible students to keep their guns with them as they go about their average day at college. Proponents of the law say that more guns on campus will deter mass shootings, and will help students protect themselves against a would-be shooter.
With this law, Texas will become the 8th state to mandate that concealed handguns be allowed on public college campuses. There are already 21 other states that allow the decision to be decided by the individual colleges.
Under the law, schools can still put some particular restrictions in place. Texas A&M University, for example, will allow teachers to ban guns from their offices. Guns still won't be allowed in medical centers and sports arenas.
The law went into effect on the 50th anniversary of one of the most tragic college shootings in American history. In 1966, a student at the University of Texas at Austin shot 14 people from a clock tower. The shooting spree ended when armed citizens began to fire on the sniper.
The armed citizens were able to keep him from killing any more students until police arrived on the scene.
The decision to allow concealed carry on college campuses has been a point of contention among both students and legislators, with some students worried about how guns will mix with the high pressure environment of college.
“There are so many students battling the stress of campus. Some are unstable and we don’t know who has a gun,” said Courtney Dang, a worried third-year student at the University of Texas at Austin.
Many other students, though, are feeling more positive about the law. One students told Fox News that she was “very much looking forward” to the day that she could have her concealed carry with her at college.
“I just feel much safer, knowing I can bring my gun on campus. You just hear a lot of these bad things about these shootings, and i want to protect myself,” she added.