Univ. of Texas cancer center: concealed carry would hurt cancer research
- Julie Penne, M.D. Anderson’s associate director for external communications says Texas campus carry legislation would siphon money away from cancer research.
- Texas A&M’s Student Government Association passed a bill in Dec. to allow concealed carry on its campus.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the UH and UT systems will pay $47 million to institute campus carry if it passes in the Texas legislature.
The Houston Chronicle claims that many of the costs would involve expanding university police departments and adding more gun safes and lockers as well as offering intensive training for staff and on-campus security.
“Costs would be covered out of proceeds from patient revenue, which would normally go toward cancer research, education, and prevention efforts,” Julie Penne, the University of Texas’ M.D. Anderson associate director for external communications, said in an interview with Breitbart.
State senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) told Breitbart that “It is patently absurd to suggest that additional security resources would be needed to accommodate faculty, staff or student [concealed handgun license] holders on Texas campuses.”
The Houston Chronicle quoted the cost of the legislation at approximately $7 million for the Texas Tech University System, $2.5 million for the Texas State University System, $2 million for the University of North Texas System and $550,000 for Texas Southern University over six years.
The UH system said it would need to “create, maintain, and staff secured weapons storage facilities in nine dormitories” as well as hire 24/7 security personnel for those facilities. If the legislation passes, the UT system would have to pay police to educate citizens on the new law.
Texas Southern and Texas Woman’s universities told the Houston Chronicle that they oppose the bill outright, particularly without a provision to opt-out of the policy.
''I do not feel that individuals bringing firearms to campus will increase the security of our students or our campus. We spend a lot of time dealing with the decisions of young people who are still grappling with the responsibilities of becoming an adult, and I do not think adding firearms into that environment will contribute to the safety of our students,'' said TWU Chancellor Carine Feyten.
TSU spokesperson Kendrick Callis told the Houston Chronicle that ''TSU would not be in favor of this legislation.''
“Allowing guns on campus would increase violence overall, and this is not limited to ‘lawless behavior’. We agree with [University of Texas] Chancellor McRaven's recent concerns that campus carry could lead to more accidental and self-inflicted injuries with guns, as well as violence between students,” Ashley Alcantara, communications director for University Democrats at UT Austin, told Campus Reform. “Guns would not increase safety, but instead decrease it.”
Students at Texas A&M have differing views on the senate bill. As previously reported by Campus Reform, Texas A&M’s Student Government Association (SGA) passed a bill in Dec. to allow concealed carry on its campus.
SGA President at Texas A&M-Commerce, Jackson Dailey, told Campus Reform earlier this month that, “A majority of our students disliked the idea due to the fear of having more weapons in the classroom.”
Current laws barring guns from hospitals would not change with this new legislation. Public institutions would be responsible for enacting their own firearm storage guidelines.
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