TCU Faculty Senate discusses Campus Carry legislation.

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In the first open forum on Senate Bill 11, more commonly referred to as “Campus Carry”, staff and faculty on both sides of the issue stressed that safety is their number one priority.

Beginning Aug. 1, 2016, people with Concealed Holder Licenses may be allowed to carry their concealed handguns on campus. As a private institution, TCU can choose to opt out of the bill.

But before that decision can be made, the university community is discussing the issue.

About 30 TCU faculty and staff members attended a lunchtime forum in Smith Entrepreneurs Hall, a to anonymously voice their opinions.

“One concern is suicide,” a faculty member from the College of Education said. “It is the second leading cause of death among college aged people. Having a gun available just makes it much more likely that they’ll be successful.”

A faculty member from the Mathematics Department questioned the need for weapons, asking, “What is it that we’re trying to prevent?”

He said that he thought allowing guns on campus was a terrible risk.

Another faculty member who has a Concealed Holder License said that CHL holders tend to go beyond the minimum training.

“When you look at the figures, CHL holders are actually better trained than the average police officer,” the faculty member said. “These are not people who are out there waving a gun around saying ‘who do I shoot next?’ It just doesn’t happen.”

The discussion went back and forth with the room split on opinion.

“If we tell kids they can’t carry guns on campus, that’s not going to stop them from carrying guns,” one Campus Carry advocate said.

Regardless of position, all of those gathered said they wanted to know what they could do to make sure that TCU is the safest place possible.

A faculty member from the Music Department said the focus should be on student safety and asked how the campus could focus on other safety issues besides gun control.

Alternative safety precautions that were discussed included the addition of panic buttons in offices, altering doors to lock from the inside, and equipping Froggie Five-0 or other shuttle services with GPS so that students don’t have to stand outside waiting.

As of now the university still does not have an official position on this issue. Another forum will be held at noon on Sept. 29 in the Beck-Geren Conference Room in the Brown-Lupton University Union.

Chancellor Boschini is expected to make a decision sometime in the next month. The board of trustees will then vote on his recommendation at the board’s November meeting after TCU community members have voiced their opinions.

Students can send their own opinions about Campus Carry to [email protected] until Oct. 29.