One of the complaints against against allowing “campus carry” of concealed weapons in college buildings never made a lot of sense.
When college leaders campaigned against letting licensed adults 21 and over carry a firearm, they warned ominously that signage and safety measures would cost Texans $10 million or more per year.
Mostly, that’s gone to buy signs for the few state university campus areas that remain restricted under the law, which went into effect Aug. 1.
Texas’ 1 million-plus licensees were already allowed to carry guns openly almost anywhere else in the state except places such as bars, sports events or a court facility.
So why would it have cost taxpayers $10 million to let the same licensees carry a weapon into a college building?
What colleges report so far is the same result Texans saw last year when licensees were allowed the choice to “open carry” weapons off-campus outside or inside a jacket: almost no change at all.
One gun owned by a licensee has gone off. That was last week in the Integrity Hall dormitory at Tarleton State University, a Stephenville campus that is part of the Texas A&M University system.
Nobody was hurt. Officials described the damage as minimal.
That sounds much like the few campus handgun incidents a University of Texas campus committee found in a report last year.
In the seven other states where campus weapons are legal, the committee found only four times total when a licensee’s handgun has gone off on campus: twice when the licensee was showing off the weapon, and twice when a weapon went off in a pocket.
Few students are licensed, and accidents are rare involving trained and licensed gun owners.
The greatest risk to Texans is now from a misguided effort by some lawmakers to eliminate those handgun training requirements and state licensing completely.
If Texans are unable to rely on a training and licensing system that has worked well for 21 years, college leaders will not be alone in predicting a high cost.