UT to hear public comment on campus carry tonight

AUSTIN (KXAN) - The University of Texas is preparing to hear the public's opinion on whether or not they should regulate the soon-to-be enacted concealed carry law.

State Bill 11, passed in the spring by the Texas Legislature, says that licensed gun owners can carry a concealed weapon on campuses starting on August 1, 2016. Already a controversial subject, several UT professors have spoken out about making the campus as gun-free as possible.

The law allows campuses to make rules about the carrying and storage of handguns, as long as they don't 'generally prohibit' gun owners from doing so.

President Gregory L. Fenves created the Campus Carry Policy Working Group to weigh pros and cons and make recommendations on how the university should handle the issue.

"I want to make clear my goal is to promote safety and security for all members of the campus in a way that is fully compliant with the law," said Fenves.

The university is holding two public forums on the issue in the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom, the first tonight from 7 until 9 p.m. and the second on October 5 from 3 until 5 p.m.

On Thursday, professors, parents and students with Gun Free UT will hold a rally at 1 p.m. at the West Mall to speak out against campus carry and the threat it poses.

At 9 and 10 p.m., Amanda Brandeis speaks to a professor who says mental health needs to be a part of the discussion.

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