Jeff Wentworth

University regents approved Barnes' $200,000 raise Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — Several Texas senators on Thursday criticized the recent $200,000 raise for Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes, calling it “nuts” and “tone deaf” during a state budget crisis that threatens deep cuts to higher education.

The state is facing a budget shortfall that some estimates put as high as $27 billion. Current spending proposals would cut money for universities and tuition programs for poor students.

Barnes’ raise was approved by university regents Wednesday.

“I think it’s nuts,” said state Sen. Steve Ogden, chairman of the Senate’s budget writing committee.

“It’s not appropriate, not at a time when we’re scraping for money for education,” said Sen. Jeff Wentworth, a member of the Senate higher education committee.

Ogden and Wentworth are Republicans with connections to Texas’ chief rival, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M is in Ogden’s district and Wentworth is an A&M graduate.

But Democrats with connections to Texas also chimed in.

“It is bad timing,” said higher education committee chairwoman Sen. Judith Zaffirini, a Texas graduate. “They didn’t ask for my advice.”

Sen. Kirk Watson, whose district includes the Texas campus, said the raise suggests regents are “tone deaf” to the budget crisis boiling at the Capitol less than a mile away.

“I’m a big fan of UT basketball and coach Barnes,” Watson said. “But at a time when everyone up here is fighting to come up with money to pay for education, it was disappointing.”

The Texas athletic budget is separate from the academic budget and Barnes’ raise does not include tax money. Texas officials note that the university’s new $300 million contract with ESPN will send millions of dollars toward academics.

Barnes was owed a $75,000 bump under his current contract. Another $125,000 was added to boost his annual salary to $2.4 million, keeping him among the highest-paid coaches in the country, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said.

“Before Rick Barnes arrived at Texas, we weren’t a top national basketball program. We are now,” Dodds said.

In 13 seasons, Barnes has won at least a share of the Big 12 title three times and taken his teams to the NCAA tournament every year. Texas has failed to advance past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament four of the last five seasons.

Barnes has averaged 25 wins per season and “runs his program with class and integrity,” Dodds said.

The motion approved by the regents notes Barnes “commitment, motivation and performance” and the desire to keep him coaching the Longhorns.

Barnes isn’t the only state university coach to get a big raise in the current budget crunch. A week after the legislative session convened in January, Texas Tech gave football coach Tommy Tuberville a $500,000 raise, prompting complaints by university faculty in Lubbock.

— This report was written by Jim Vertuno of The Associated Press

In a 19-12 vote mostly along party lines, Texas senators passed an amendment to allow concealed handguns on campus.

Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — Republicans in the Texas Senate on Monday approved allowing concealed handgun license holders to carry weapons into public college buildings and classrooms, moving forward on a measure that had stalled until supporters tacked it on to a universities spending bill.

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, had been unable to muster the votes he needed under Senate rules to pass the issue as its own bill after the measure met stiff resistance from higher education officials, notably from within the University of Texas system.

The measure seemed all but assured easy passage when the legislative session began in January. The Senate had passed a similar bill in 2009 and about 90 lawmakers in the 150-member House had signed on in support this year. But the bill stalled on its first three votes in the Senate and took some maneuvering by Wentworth to get it through.

Supporters hope Monday’s vote will help shove the measure past a roadblock in the House, where a similar bill has been stuck without a vote in that chamber with just a few weeks left in the legislative session.

“Campus carry has more momentum than a runaway freight train,” said W. Scott Lewis of Students for Concealed Carry, a nationwide group backing the measure.

The Senate’s 12 Democrats had mostly worked as a block to stop the measure but were powerless to stop it on Monday when all it took was a simple majority in the 31-member chamber to get it added to the spending bill as an amendment.

At that point, Wentworth even picked up an extra vote from Rep. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, who had previously opposed the measure.

Even with large numbers in support, the campus guns measure quickly boiled into one of most controversial issues of the session.

Supporters call it a critical self-defense measure and guns rights issue. UT-System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa wrote lawmakers and Gov. Rick Perry outlining worries from university officials that guns on campus will lead to more campus crime and suicides.

Hearings on the measure were dominated by powerful testimony from supporters who had been raped or assaulted on college campuses, and several people who had survived the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech University when a gunman killed 32 people.

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, who was a student at the University of Texas in 1966 when sniper Charles Whitman killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others, vigorously argued against the guns measure.

She predicted mass chaos if police respond to a call and find several people with guns drawn.

“I can’t imagine the horrors if this passes,” Zaffirini said.

Wentworth was unmoved. He recalled the shooting at Virginia Tech and said he wants to give students a chance to defend themselves.

“There was no one there to defend themselves in a gun-free zone that was a victim-rich zone,” Wentworth said. “I’m trying to avoid that type of situation.”

Ironically, it was an amendment by Zaffirini that opened the door for Wentworth’s gun measure. Those two had battled in previous weeks when Wentworth tried to amend the guns measure to another universities spending bill she had authored.

She withdrew her bill but offered it up as an amendment on Monday. Minutes after hers was approved, Wentworth introduced his amendment and got the guns measure put on the bill.

After the vote, Wentworth exchanged a few imaginary shots with another lawmaker outside the Senators-only lounge behind the chamber.

Texas passed its concealed handgun license law in 1995. License holders must be at least 21 and pass a training course.

Guns on campus bills have been rejected in at least 23 states since 2007. The bill originally covered private universities as well, but was changed to cover only public institutions of higher education. The Senate also rejected attempts to allow the university boards of regents to decide gun policy on their campuses.

For supporters, Texas is the big prize. Early signs the bill would pass here captured the attention of international media which could not resists the state’s larger-than-life reputation and frontier image.

Texas is where concealed handgun license holders are allowed to skip metal detectors in the state Capitol, and Perry made headlines for shooting a coyote on a morning jog last year. Earlier on Monday, senators voted to allow themselves to carry concealed handguns into places the rest of the public cannot, such as churches, restaurants and sporting events.

Perry has said he supports the campus guns measure and is expected to sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

— This report was written by Jim Vertuno of The Associated Press

Concealed carry on campus may have hit another dead end after Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, pulled down her higher education bill Tuesday.

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, had attempted to add his controversial guns on campus legislation as an amendment to Zaffirini’s bill, which would have reduced reporting requirements for universities and in turn lowered tuition rates.

The move to propose the amendment came after Wentworth lost key Democrat supporters when he tried to pass his initial bill, which would have allowed concealed handgun license holders to carry guns on college campuses.

Senators, including Zaffirini, were surprised when Wentworth proposed the legislation as an amendment last Thursday. Senators approved the amendment 21-10 Tuesday.

Zaffirini withdrew her bill after she employed several parliamentary tactics to remove the amendment. She argued the amendment was not germane to her bill and asked for an immediate vote on the bill under the “five-second rule” because she said Wentworth had not asked senators to consider an amendment within certain time restraints.

Both tries failed but opened up a two-hour debate on the concealed carry amendment during which senators proposed several additional amendments to Wentworth’s amendment.

During debate, Wentworth denied Zaffarini’s attempt to add an amendment to allow a student referendum to vote on the issue and approve the issue on a campus by campus basis.

“Students are able to vote on other issues, they should certainly be able to vote on the danger posed by handguns on campuses,” Zaffirini said. “The students should have a voice.”

Wentworth denied all proposals to allow students, faculty or regent boards to hold a campus vote to make a final decision.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said allowing concealed carry on campus would cause a direct increase for university insurance premiums.

“This is just ridiculous in my judgment,” Ellis said. “I hope you would go beyond the politics, the cost of implementing this is going to be astronomical with insurance cost.”

Wentworth accepted an amendment by Ellis to reimburse institutions that see an increased premium as a direct result of the legislation. Ellis said universities could see a 15-25 percent liability increase, but Wentworth said it would not cause additional risk.

The amendment addressed Brownsville Democrat Sen. Eddie Lucio’s desire to exempt primary and secondary schools located on university campuses. Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, praised Wentworth for maintaining a provision to allow universities to regulate storage rules in
campus dorms.

The future of concealed carry on campus remains unknown. Wentworth said he is grateful senators approved his amendment even though the bill has been left pending.

“The overwhelming majority of Texas Senators are in favor of allowing concealed carry on campus,” he said.

A rash response

Most UT students remember where they were when they heard about the most devastating terrorist attacks in American history.

Within months after the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States was at war. For most students, the United States has been at war longer than it has been at peace in their lifetimes.

But on Sunday night, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group al-Qaida.

The immediate excitement of the announcement elicited a variety of reactions from members of the UT community. While we share the collective sense of relief expressed by millions across the country, we question whether chugging alcohol or engaging in patriotic karaoke is the appropriate response. Thousands of fellow Americans are still fighting our wars in the Middle East; there must be a better way to honor their sacrifice. Yesterday marked the end of a significant chapter in our nation’s history, but there is a right and a wrong way to celebrate its passing.

Moreover, it is disappointing that many Democrats and Republicans immediately sought to put a political spin on the event by trying to determine whether it was the policies of former President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama that led to the death of bin Laden.

We hope that in the coming days, Americans of all ages will take time to reflect on what has transpired and ask themselves what this event means for the future of our country.

Let it die

Earlier in the legislative session, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, proposed legislation that would allow for the concealed carry of handguns on college and university campuses — and the bill was almost certain to pass. A few months later, however, several senators withdrew support after pressure from constituents.

Before students could rejoice at the seeming death of the legislation, Wentworth tacked a concealed carry amendment onto a higher education bill introduced by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Zaffirini’s bill would reduce costly reporting requirements for institutions of higher education.

Wentworth surprised not only senators but also Texans when he introduced his proposal as an amendment. Nonetheless, Wentworth denied “trying to pull a fast one,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The move by Wentworth will undoubtedly shift important discussions of university funding to concealed carry. It is disappointing that senators are turning key discussions of higher education into partisan debates on issues that have already been addressed.

Zaffirini, who opposes the concealed carry legislation, threatened to kill her bill if the amendment passes. However, Wentworth appears relentless, and if Zaffirini kills the bill, he will likely find another technicality that would allow him to reintroduce similar legislation.

It is clear Wentworth has not accepted the death of his legislation and wants to continue to ignore the many Texans, including students and leaders in higher education, who oppose concealed carry. Last March, a majority of students at Texas A&M voiced opposition to concealed carry legislation in a campus-wide referendum. We just hope senators truly represent their constituents, including students, and continue to oppose the measure.

Texas senators are expected to debate two controversial pieces of legislation this week — the budget and concealed carry on campus.

The state House and Senate are looking for methods of easing the $15 billion to $27 billion budget deficit for the 2012-13 biennium. The House passed its version of the budget bill last month, which included major cuts to education and health care. Last week, the Senate Committee on Finance passed its version, which restores some of that funding.

The Senate’s proposed budget would cut UT’s funding by about $51 million and attempts to tap into the Rainy Day Fund, a $9.4 billion emergency fund lawmakers can use during financial crises.

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, filed a bill that would allow concealed-handgun license holders to carry on campus. The bill, which seemed likely to pass without much opposition at the beginning of the session, lost support after constituent pressure. Wentworth will try to give the concealed carry on campus issue new life through an amendment.

Senate on the State Budget

A week after the Senate Committee on Finance passed the budget bill, senators may soon begin to debate the 2012-13 biennial budget on the chamber floor.

The Senate budget bill, which totals $178.6 billion and would restore $12 million in funding for UT from the House version, was originally slated for debate Thursday, but the legislation did not have enough votes and was pushed back. Senators anticipate the bill will reach the floor today.

The proposed budget has drawn heat from both political parties, with some legislators opposing the use of $3 billion of the Rainy Day Fund. The disagreement over the fund is one of the main reasons the bill has stalled.

“While each of us could point to something in the budget we would change, I am comfortable with the method of finance for the budget,” said Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a letter to senators last week.

Dewhurst said he prefers to use recurring nontax revenue, such as economic growth, to balance the budget instead of using the Rainy Day Fund.

On Friday, lawmakers approved Sen. Robert Duncan’s, R-Lubbock, fiscal matters bill, which would add $4.1 billion from existing tax revenue to help ease next biennium’s budget deficit.

The budget bill’s author and chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said members have been divided on the use of the Rainy Day Fund.

“If we’re not going to use the Rainy Day Fund when it’s raining, we might as well get rid of it,” Ogden said.

Concealed Carry on Campus

Senators are likely to take up the concealed carry on campus debate this week after Wentworth lost support for his original bill, which left the issue looking dead. Senators had also proposed amendments to allow public universities to opt out of the requirement as well as an amendment to leave the decision up to regents, both of which were not accepted and resulted in lost votes.

Last week, Wentworth surprised senators when he proposed an amendment to allow concealed carry on campus during debate for the higher education bill by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Zaffirini’s bill would reduce reporting requirements for higher education institutions and in turn translate into lower tuition fees.

“That was the first bill I saw this [amendment] would be eligible for,” Wentworth said. “I have 20 votes to suspend the vote for freestanding, but you only need 16 votes for an amendment.”

Wentworth said the move was a “routine parliamentary tactic used by members all the time.”

Concealed carry on campus has generated heated opinions throughout the legislative session. Supporters said the measure would allow for personal protection, while opposers said it could make campuses more dangerous.

Zaffirini accepted six prior amendments to the higher education bill but pulled it down after Wentworth brought his final amendment forward.

The San Antonio Republican may be left searching for another option to pass concealed carry because Zaffirini said she is likely to kill her bill.

“If he is able to successfully pass his amendment, I will have to kill the [higher education] bill,” Zaffirini said. “It is unfortunate that it might happen because the [higher education] bill could help save universities millions of dollars. We will have to see what he does.”

Concealed carry amendment

“I did not expect this amendment. It is very controversial among university regents, and it should stand as its own bill.”

— Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, on a last minute amendment tacked onto a higher education bill she sponsored, according to The Daily Texan. The amendment, added by Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, mirrors his previous concealed-carry bill.

“To say I am now trying to pull a fast one is a little silly. I am using the same parliamentary rules that were used two weeks ago to keep [SB 354] from being heard.”

— Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, on his amendment, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Powers speaks out
“It’s the sand being put in the oyster around which the pearl grows.”

— President William Powers Jr. in an interview with the Texas Tribune on Thursday, drawing an analogy to describe why the University needs state funding.

“Let me say, we’re trying to pull students through the University in four years.”

— Powers responding to a question during the Texas Tribune interview, about what UT was doing to help students graduate University in four years.

“Research universities drive economic development in their regions because they produce the educated workforce companies need and new knowledge that generates innovation and economic development.”

— Powers in a university wide email Tuesday defending academic research, according to The Daily Texan.

$10k for a bachelor’s degree
“It’s entirely feasible. It’s something we are going to pursue aggressively.”

— Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes on Wednesday, regarding Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal to create a $10,000 bachelor’s degree, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

“Low cost does not equate to low rigor or even low value.”

— Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board special projects director Van Davis on concerns that Perry’s mythical $10,000 degree plan would sacrifice academic quality for affordability, according to the Texas Tribune. 

Vote expected on Monday

Texas Senators were debating the concealed-carry bill Thursday when Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, temporarily pulled the bill down until Monday.

The bill would allow concealed-handgun license holders to carry guns on Texas college campuses. The decision came after senators asked Wentworth for additional time to look over new amendments and propose the bill to constituents.

“This is a matter of personal protection,” Wentworth said. “The idea that it will result in increased violence is unfounded.”

Wentworth recently accepted an amendment by Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, to exempt primary and secondary school campuses located within universities from the bill.

Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, who was originally one of 21 members in favor, said he would not be able to support the bill unless he had the weekend to propose it to constituents, some of whom expressed concern over Nichols’ amendment.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, opposed the bill and said there are too many factors, such as alcohol and the danger of suicides, that can create a “toxic mix” if guns are allowed on campus.

“Twenty-three states have tabled bills exactly like this,” Ellis said.

Ellis pointed out lawmakers in conservative Southern states such as Mississippi and Alabama opposed similar legislation.

“Senate Bill 354 is a bad solution to a serious problem. Again, it makes us feel like we’ve gotten tough — deputizing students — but the fact is that the universities don’t want it, and law enforcement doesn’t want it because they know it will not make our campuses safer,” he said. “It might make a great campaign mailer, but it will absolutely not make students safer.”

But Wentworth said he is confident the bill will pass next week.

Jim Bryce held back tears as he recounted memories of 45 years ago, when he was supposed to meet a friend for lunch at the Texas Union, but saw a shooter inside the UT Tower on the news. Bryce and classmate Sandra Wilson were students at UT in 1966, when Charles Whitman, a student and former Marine, opened fire atop the Tower, killing 14 people and wounding 31. Both testified before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee about the concealed carry on campus bill Tuesday along with current students, including members of student lobbying group Invest in Texas. The bill would allow concealed handgun licensees to carry handguns on college campuses. Concealed carry is allowed most places in Texas, but college campuses, churches, bars and post offices are some gun-free zones. Bryce told committee members to vote against the bill, continuing his harrowing account of the shooting, which claimed the life of one of his friends. “Sandra was shot in front of what is now the Co-op,” Bryce said. “We’re afraid that allowing others to conceal on campus would create a [confusing] situation where the police could not adequately protect everyone.” Wilson said she was lucky to recover, but that she could not believe state lawmakers were even considering the bill after what happened years ago. “We do not need every person carrying their gun trying to protect themselves,” Wilson said. “We have the police and security people — that’s fine.” Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said the bill was nearly identical to the one he filed last Legislative session in 2009, which the Senate never voted on. He said the youngest concealed handgun license holders, ages 21-25, make up only 7 percent of licensed holders — or 7,399 out of 102,133. “This bill is a matter of personal protection,” he said. “The idea that it will result in any increase in violence is unfounded. Some of the same misguided predictions were used by opponents of the original concealed handgun legislation in 1995. Licensees have proven consistently they are law abiding and responsible.” A bill amendment added before the hearing would allow private campuses to opt out and allow students and staff a referendum on the issue. Wentworth said a similar amendment was only added to appease opposition last session. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo also weighed in on the issue saying that university campuses are not the best environments to have armed individuals. “One of the concerns we have in law enforcement is that if we have a concentration of armed folks that are not like police who are readily identifiable, is distinguishing the friendly armed persons from unfriendly armed persons,” he said. Acevedo said he has heard supporters say the bill would allow carriers to protect themselves in the event of a campus shooting, but those chances are minimal. “I’m not sure what we are trying to fix in terms of safety on campus,” he said. “I think we’re maybe creating a fix for something that is not a problem.”

82nd Legislature

Two survivors of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting want Texas lawmakers to vote against bills that would allow students to carry concealed handguns on campus, they said at a press conference Thursday.

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, filed a bill that could allow licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, filed a similar bill in the House.

The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence hosted the event at the Capitol on Thursday morning to persuade lawmakers not to vote for the bill. John Woods, a graduate representative in UT Student Government and the president of Students for Gun Free Schools, and Colin Goddard, the Brady Campaign’s assistant director of federal legislation, reflected on their experiences at Virginia Tech.

When English senior Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on campus before Cho died by suicide, he shot Goddard four times. Goddard survived by lying still while the gunman continued to fire rounds of bullets around the room. Woods was not directly injured from the attacks, but his girlfriend was shot and killed.

Wentworth said in a statement that the Virginia Tech shooting is one reason he believes campus carry is essential.
“I want to put an element of doubt in a potential shooter’s mind,” he said. “And, if some deranged person does open fire in a Texas college classroom or dormitory, I want to give faculty, staff and students the ability to defend themselves.”

Gov. Rick Perry endorsed Wentworth’s bill. Although SG’s official stance is against concealed carry, some UT students support the legislation. Individuals older than 21 who get a concealed handgun license by having a clean mental health bill and completing a training program can carry a gun almost anywhere, including on the public streets that surround campuses.

“School campuses are not sanctuaries from crime,” said Jeff Shi, president of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. “Allowing campus carry will give students and faculty the same means of protection they are afforded virtually anywhere else.”

Woods said allowing students to have guns on campus puts everyone on campus at risk. Because many campus shooters are suicidal, the threat of death at the hands of a concealed handgun licensee would not deter them, he said.

“We need to focus on the real underlying issue causing gun violence, such as mental health resources and things of that nature,” said SG President Scott Parks, who also spoke at the press conference.

President William Powers Jr. has also firmly denounced concealed carry on campuses.

“There need to be many other steps before we consider this legislation,” Goddard said. “Options, such as providing locks on the inside of doors to protect classrooms, is a good step toward making campuses a safer place for everyone.”

On the Lege

Higher education campuses in Texas have been designated gun-free zones for 15 years, but lawmakers will try again to change that this legislative session. Since the start of the 82nd Texas Legislature last month, Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, and Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, have each filed bills to allow carrying licensed concealed handguns on campus. UT Division of Housing and Food Services follows institutional rules that ban all weapons and facsimiles on all areas of campus, subject to a third-degree felony. “If the legislation was to pass, DHFS would consult and work with legal counsel and University Administrators to make any changes to our current policy,” said Associate Director for Residence Life Hemlata Jhaveri, in a statement. University Operations spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon said the UT Police Department will not begin any campus planning until there is a final outcome on the bill. “If this legislation passed, it would make things a little more complicated,” Weldon said. “It’s always easier to regulate something that is not a law versus something that is. It’s easier for officers to monitor if someone is breaking the law than having to check who has a license to carry on campus and who doesn’t.” Driver also filed a campus concealed carry bill during the 81st Legislative Session, in 2009, with 75 co-sponsors. The bill passed in the Senate but died in the House, he said. If the bill passes, Wentworth said only licensed holders older than 21 years old who have completed a required class and passed a background check would be granted the additional rights. Wentworth, who co-sponsored the bill last session, said he was motivated to file a similar bill this session because of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, when English senior Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on campus before he died by suicide. “[The bill] is designed to give faculty, staff and students a way to defend themselves when some deranged person comes on campus intending to commit suicide and take as many people with him as he can like they did at Virginia Tech several years ago,” Wentworth said. “A [gun-free zone] means it’s a victim zone, an area where law abiding people who will obey the law and not carry weapons will be the vulnerable, defenseless targets — sitting-ducks of people who come on campus in order to do harm.” John Woods, executive director of Students for Gun-Free Schools, experienced the Virginia Tech shooting as an undergraduate student. He said resources, such as the Behavior and Concerns Advice Line, are key in preventing campus incidents. “Let’s focus on prevention and what we can do to keep the guns out of the hands of people intending to do harm,” said Woods, a biology graduate student. “In the case of Virginia Tech, he had been ruled a danger to himself and others. Under federal law, he should not have been able to buy a gun. This idea that you can carry guns to stop a school shooting doesn’t make a lot of sense.” Woods said the bill would allow unrestricted campus carry to all facilities, unless there are amendments added to the bill. He said student communication with lawmakers is key in preventing the bill. “The way this bill is written, the University has no power [to regulate its implementation],” he said. “It’s not just that it allows concealed carry, it ties the University’s hands establishing reasonable regulations.” One amendment supported by both Woods and Students for Concealed Carry on Campus would allow campuses to regulate dorm policy. “Designated, secure storage areas for [concealed handgun license] holders living in dorms would be something we would not oppose, and the text of the bill gives power to universities to determine policy with firearms and dorm residents,” said the organization’s president Jeff Shi. The group will hold educational events throughout the semester, including a on-campus concealed handgun license class and a public shooting range day.