Texas Senate Approves Concealed Campus Carry Gun Bill

The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to allowing concealed handguns in college classrooms, a day after passing a measure allowing open carry of guns most everywhere else in America's second most-populous state.

The "campus carry" bill has been panned by most student groups, law enforcement and key leaders of Texas' top colleges. Critics include the retired Navy SEAL who led the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden before becoming the University of Texas' new chancellor.

But the bill has strong support from gun rights groups and the Senate's Republican majority. It sailed through on a 20-11 vote Wednesday.

"The Texas Senate today, preliminarily passed the third bill that expands and protects Second Amendment Right legislation in a historic way. With the passage of Senate Bill 17 (SB 17) by Sen. Craig Estes, Senate Bill 273 (SB 273) by Sen. Donna Campbell and SB 11 by Sen. Birdwell, the Texas Senate sends a clear message, that our Second Amendment Right remains strong," said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

The bill needs a final vote -- likely Thursday -- to send it to the House.

The bill mandates allowing concealed handguns at public universities. Private schools could still ban them.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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