AUSTIN (KXAN) — If lawmakers allow holders of concealed handgun licenses to bring the weapons on campus, a limited number of students would be eligible to bring guns to school. The state’s CHL regulations require applicants to be 21 or older, unless they are a member of the military or a veteran.
According to data from the university, more than 48,000 students were enrolled in classes this spring at the University of Texas. Of those, more than 56 percent of the students are 21 or older, making them of age to have a CHL. Of the students living on campus, only 2.5 percent are 21 or older.
“Having the idea that some of my classmates might have a gun. I wouldn’t be comfortable with that,” said Columbia Mishra, former UT Graduate Student Assembly president.
Still, if upcoming UT Austin students are like their peers, only a fraction of them will try to get their CHL and bring a gun to school if a bill passes.
Numbers from the Department of Public Safety, show the state issued more than 9,000 CHLs in 2012 to applicants age 21-25. Compare that to the state’s population of 21 to 25 year olds in estimates from the Texas State Data Center, and those applicants make up about 0.5 percent of that population. Still, that’s a one year snapshot, not a total amount.
The Student Government Assembly at UT Austin voted to oppose campus carry last month. Still, they heard comments from students who didn’t want the resolution and support campus carry.
Earlier this year, KXAN News spoke to one of the UT students who think campus carry could help.
“I think in that situation it could be useful in putting down the shooter because if no one in the room has a gun or a weapon, that shooter is free to do what they want,” said student Steve Rivas in January.
“I think we all want the same thing,” said Mishra. “We all want peace and we want a good learning environment.”