Texas 'campus carry' law expanding to community colleges - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Texas 'campus carry' law expanding to community colleges

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DENISON, Texas -- Grayson College is not only preparing for fall classes, but a new law hitting the books on August 1.

Tuesday marks the first day "campus carry" will be implemented at community colleges in Texas. The law says if you have a concealed handgun license, you are allowed to carry it on public college campuses.

Student Tim Knight  said he doesn't think it will have a huge impact on his education.

"Look: We get so busy going to class and campus life, I think it will, without incident, just become another facet of our lives," he said.

Grayson College set up a task force last year and has been preparing for the law to go into effect.

"We really don't expect anything drastic to happen," school spokeswoman Amy Evans said.  "We have watched the universities for a year; during that year there's only been one accidental discharge of a firearm."

Although Grayson College isn't allowed to ask if students are carrying a concealed handgun, they expect the number of students carrying to be low.

"Only three percent of Texas residents are licensed to conceal carry," Evans noted. "So when you think about the total number of people in Texas... and then the number in Grayson County... and then the number that would be on the college campus, it's actually a very small percentage."

The main concern for implementing this law is safety.

"Our primary goal always is student safety," Evans said. "So the way we can do that is just make sure people are aware, make sure they know that this really isn't going to change a whole lot in what we anticipate. And that we have a police department on campus that's ready to help and stand up in any way that they need to."

Knight said this is a positive development for people who do have their concealed handgun license and choose to carry.

"I just don't think it's a major issue. There's more important things to deal with, you know, than protecting yourself and exercising your rights," he said.

Weapons will continue to be unwelcome at specified locations at Grayson College, including sporting events, open meetings and polling places.

The Texas campus carry law went into effect August 1 last year for public universities, but community colleges were given an extra year to get ready.

Private colleges were allowed to opt out under the law and nearly all did.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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