Expert: UT campus carry should allow bullets in chamber

UT Board of Regents postpones vote on campus carry policies on May 12, 2016 (KXAN Photo/ Julie Karam)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – As the Texas State University System Board of Regents approved its campus carry rules Thursday, the University of Texas at Austin will not learn its rules for nearly two more months. But even as the rules are not yet passed for UT, a local firearms expert with decades of experience says the act of buying a gun is not enough.

The UT Board of Regents postponed any decision until its July meeting, less than three weeks before the law takes effect August 1.

Dave Gill, co-founder of Texas Tactical Training Institute, says people need to constantly training with a gun after purchasing it.

“When I sell a firearm, I’ll encourage them even if it’s somebody that you know has been around guns all their life, you can never practice too much,” Gill said.

In fact, Gill says he tries to go to the gun range twice a month to stay sharp.

He worked as a police officer, including a stint on the SWAT team, for 15 years.

One of the most controversial parts of UT’s campus carry policy raised at the Regents’ May meeting is President Greg Fenves’ proposal to not allow gun owners to have a bullet in the chamber, over fears a gun might accidentally fire.

Gill says that’s a bad idea and would render the gun useless.

“If you don’t have [a bullet] in the barrel, it’s useless. It’s an expensive paperweight,” Gill said. “If you have to take that extra step to rack the slide to put a bullet into the barrel, it’s already over with for you. They’ve already gotten to you.”

Instead, Gill says training could help solve the problem as people learn how to hold their gun.

“They call it an ‘accidental discharge,'” Gill said. “It’s also an accidental ‘put your finger in the wrong place.'”

He also says students, especially those in dorms, need to lock up their guns to keep them out of reach of roommates and thieves. Gill demonstrated how one safe works. It has four buttons on the top laid out in the pattern of a hand, requiring a combination to open.

“You have your own pattern of buttons, the arrangement, and you press it, it pops up, there’s your gun, you’re ready to go.”

It has a security cable designed to wrap around furniture, making it a lot more difficult for thieves to steal it. Some are even more sophisticated.

“They have some that also have a fingerprint… it’s a bio metric (safe) where you can just swipe your finger and then it pops open. Other ones like this, you have to punch in a code, a sequence of fingers and the box opens.”

In addition to a safe, federal law requires gun dealers to include a cable that locks the trigger of semi-automatic handguns and revolvers.

Gill says when purchasing a gun, it’s important to try several.

“It can be like a pair of shoes. It has to fit you because everybody’s hand is different.”

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