UT chancellor Bill McRaven opposes guns on campuses


The chancellor of the University of Texas System told the state’s top three political figures Thursday that concealed handguns make a campus “a less-safe environment.”

Chancellor Bill McRaven’s letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus comes as expanded campus-carry legislation appears to have a greater chance of passage than in previous sessions.

Current law generally allows holders of concealed handgun licenses to carry guns on campus grounds but not in campus buildings. ­Senate Bill 11 would allow license holders to carry guns in buildings, although private colleges could opt out.

McRaven told the American-Statesman this month that he favors tightening, not loosening, the campus-carry law to bar concealed weapons altogether.

His letter cited several points of concern, among them: that the sometimes-fragile emotions of college students could lead to an increase in accidental and self-inflicted wounds, that campus police might not be able to distinguish between “the bad actor and persons seeking to defend themselves and others when both have guns drawn,” that securing weapons when they aren’t being carried could be difficult in high-density campus housing and that laboratory chemicals and equipment could create unexpected hazards in the event a firearm is present or is discharged.

The previous chancellor, Francisco Cigarroa, raised similar concerns two years ago.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

JUST IN: 20 arrested in massive Llano County drug bust
JUST IN: 20 arrested in massive Llano County drug bust

Twenty people have been arrested for drug-related crimes in Llano County, northwest of Austin, as part of a seven-month investigation targeting dealers in the area. The Llano County sheriff’s office said it arrested 12 people on Thursday who had been indicted or had warrants for delivery or possession of a controlled substance and other related...
Credit card skimmer found at Northwest Austin gas station

NORTHWEST AUSTIN Credit card skimmer found at gas station The Texas Department of Agriculture said an illegal credit card data skimmer was spotted at a gas station in Northwest Austin on Thursday. The skimmer, which can steal a victim’s financial data from credit cards, was discovered at the Sunrise Mini Mart/Texaco food mart at 8925 Anderson...
NEW NOW: Burglary suspect barricaded in home in northern Travis County
NEW NOW: Burglary suspect barricaded in home in northern Travis County

A burglary suspect is barricaded inside a residence in northern Travis County, deputies said Thursday afternoon. A SWAT team has been called to the location in the 1600 block of Morning Mist Lane.  Travis County sheriff’s spokeswoman Kristen Dark said authorities were alerted to the burglary at around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday and that the...
Feds: Man ‘verbally harassed’ Sutherland Springs church members
Feds: Man ‘verbally harassed’ Sutherland Springs church members

A Lockhart man and his girlfriend went to First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in March and “verbally harassed” church members, saying that the Nov. 5, 2017, shooting that killed 26 people at the church was a hoax, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday. Robert “Side Thorn” Ussery, 54, was charged Wednesday with...
TEXAS DIGEST: State owes counties $2.6 billion for indigent defense

CRIMINAL JUSTICE State owes counties $2.6 billion for indigent defense Texas county commissioners say the state of Texas owes its 254 counties about $2.6 billion in for the cost of providing indigent defendants a proper trial defense. Cary Roberts, a spokesman for the Texas Association of Counties, tells The Associated Press the figure dates back to...
More Stories