Texas University Sees Accidental Gun Discharge In Campus After Carry Law Was ApprovedBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Tarleton State University in Stephenville witnessed its first incident after a person accidentally fired a gun last week. This comes after the law allowing students 21-years-old and older to carry weapons inside public university buildings was recently approved last Aug. 1.
The incident was first reported by the school's student newspaper, JTAC News. It was revealed that a gun was accidentally discharged in Integrity Hall around 6:30 p.m. "Tarleton State University's utmost concern is for the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff, and the university takes every precaution to provide as safe an environment as possible," the school said in a statement.
The person who fired the gun unintentionally was a trained License to Carry holder. The person's age and relationship to the university were not revealed. There were no reported injuries and property damage was minimal.
According to the Texas Tribune, Texas' campus carry law now allows people with concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons into most university buildings. Schools were given the liberty to list their exceptions. Some even banned guns in their dormitories.
Tarleton State University and all other schools in the Texas A&M University System chose to allow weapons in their dorms. Opponents of the law have expressed their concerns over accidental firings or suicides.
BuzzFeed reported that several LGBT students at the University of Houston no longer feel safe to express themselves now that the campus carry law has been implemented. Robyn Foley, a 22-year-old transgender and intersex student majoring in anthropology shared their worries.
"I can't correct someone on my pronouns," Foley said, about what appropriate pronouns to use. "I can't stand up for my transgender friends, because if I do and someone gets pissed off all they have to do is pull out a gun."
There are exclusion zones stated in the law, which are areas that people can't bring their handguns in. However, the building with the LGBT center, as well as the veteran students' center, is not an exclusion zone, which heightened their concerns about the LGBT community's safety.