On May 31, the Texas House passed campus carry legislation, which is now headed for Governor Greg Abbot’s (R) desk. The next day, Newsweek reported that the expansion of concealed carry in Texas was “still a win” for Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety.
According to Newsweek, gun control groups opposed campus carry by arguing that “guns shouldn’t be allowed at colleges, where many students experience intense academic pressure and where drugs and alcohol are relatively easy to access.” These groups were countered by pro-Second Amendment legislators who “[argued] that such laws would make colleges safer by allowing gun owners to intervene in shooting situations.”
Gun control groups were also countered by historical evidence that legalized campus carry has worked across the country. For example, campus carry has been legal in Colorado for 12 years, and there has not been a mass shooting on campus or a crime by a concealed carry permit holder during that time.
So campus carry was passed. And afterward, Everytown took solace that the legislation allows “university presidents to declare certain gun-free zones” in which law-abiding students will be rendered defenseless in the event of criminal attack.
Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts took this same tact on open carry when it became evident that expansion of concealed carry was a juggernaut.
On February 17, Breitbart News reported that Watts responded to Governor Abbott’s promise to sign open carry by claiming the legislation was still a win for Moms Demand Action because it was open carry with a permit, rather than the constitutional carry that exists in states in Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Montana, Vermont, and Wyoming.
Just four days earlier, Watts had expressed her opposition to open carry in any fashion–permit or no permit–describing it as an “unsafe” behavior normalized by the NRA. But she seemed more accepting of open carry with a permit once she realized Governor Abbott was listening to her.
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This article has been updated.