HOUSTON - As of August 1, Texas' new 'campus-carry' law has official gone into effect.
In a weird case of morbid coincidence, the date also marked the 50th anniversary of the Clock Tower mass shooting at the University of Texas in Austin, where Charles Whitman randomly shot 45 strangers, killing 14. Many campus carry supporters of the law think it could help stop the next Charles Whitman, while some opponents say more guns on campus is not the answer.
The new ruling allows public universities to carve out exclusion zones, but not to the point that it defeats the purpose of the law.
At the University of Houston, those exclusion zones include places like sports venues, the Children’s Learning Center, research labs with potentially hazardous materials, and all university housing except for Calhoun Lofts.
“Every building, every room that you go to where you're prohibited, there's signage there, there's messaging there so that you know how to get in and get out,” UH Police Chief Caesar Moore said.
Students who carry, but travel to excluded areas, may lock their weapon in their car, or drop it off in a bio-metrically secured lock box at the campus police department.
However, some criticize the lock boxes are at an inconvenient location, on the far end of campus. But hopefully students won't see much of a change — since all the rules of conceal and carry still apply.
Even so, before you or your kids pack a piece in their back to school bag, check with the university. Violating an exclusion zone is not just breaking school rules, it's breaking the law.