UT System chancellor writes to Gov. Perry about gun law

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UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa sent a letter to Gov. Rick Perry encouraging him to prevent the Texas Legislature from allowing guns on college campuses.

The letter, which Cigarroa sent Thursday, addressed the System’s three main areas of concern about the bill that would allow registered concealed carry permit holders to bring guns onto college campuses. He said in the letter the bill could be detrimental to University mental health, law enforcement and laboratory safety.

“I must concur with all the concerns and apprehensions expressed to me, that the presence of concealed weapons, on balance will make a campus a less-safe environment,” Cigarroa said in the letter.

Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said Perry still supports the carrying of concealed weapons on campus.

“Gov. Perry believes a person ought to be able to carry their weapon with them anywhere in the state if they are licensed and have gone through the proper training,” Frazier said. “He is open to looking at any proposals lawmakers bring to the table on this issue.”

UT sociology professor Javier Auyero started a petition Wednesday against allowing concealed handguns on the UT campus.

“I don’t want students and professors carrying guns [on] the UT campus,” Auyero wrote on the petition. “I refuse to teach/attend classes if this law takes effect.”

Nearly 500 UT students, staff and faculty have signed the petition, and Auyero has a goal of 10,000 signatures.