AUSTIN (KXAN) — Wednesday morning University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves released his decision to allow handguns in the classroom.
Starting Aug. 1 guns will be allowed inside UT classrooms, some offices and common areas in dorms, but not dorm rooms.
“I personally don’t have nothing against guns, but I think in the school it worries me a little,” said Ramiro Rodriguez, a pre-med and pre-law student.
The junior from McAllen, Texas lives on campus. “We are one of the best schools in the nation and the mental stability of students is put to the test on a regular basis, guns don’t make me nervous but people do,” said Rodriguez.
The policy bans concealed carry in dorm rooms. The University says most students who live on campus are under 21, which is the legal age to obtain a gun license.
Another reason UT won’t allow guns in residence halls is because the university worries there’s a high risk that students in close quarters increase the chances for roommates to steal, lose or misuse a gun.
The following rules should apply to the concealed carry of handguns in University housing. (a) With three exceptions, the concealed carry of handguns should be prohibited in all on-campus residence halls. The concealed carry of handguns should, however, be permitted in University Apartment”
There are some exceptions to the rules. License holders could carry in common areas like lounges, dining areas and study areas. A student’s family member is allowed to carry a concealed handgun while visiting the dorms.
“I think it’s a great idea because I feel safer with other people having guns,” said Homero Trevino, a freshman who lives on campus. “If there’s a mass shooting that happens here or if someone tries to rob something, that can easily be stopped without the need of police coming over.”
The third exception is that staff members whose employment responsibilities require them to be in University housing should be permitted to carry a concealed handgun on or about their person while present in University housing for business purposes.”
The policy also states that University housing employees, like a resident assistant, could also conceal carry if they have a license.
“I guess if my RA having one maybe better, but I just feel that it shouldn’t be there in the first place,” said Kasim Kabbara, a UT freshman from Dallas.
Students who live off campus at university apartments are allowed to conceal and carry inside their rooms.