Gov. Perry Pushes for Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Under current state law, colleges and universities, like UTPB in Odessa, are gun-free zones.  That means it's illegal for anyone to bring a weapon onto campus, licensed or not.

However, days after a gunman went onto the University of Texas campus in Austin and took his own life, Governor Rick Perry says he believes concealed weapons should be allowed.  However, he only thinks it should be allowed if the owner is well-trained and licensed.

"There are good reasons, for persons to carry permitted, concealed weapons, and to use them when they feel threatened," UTPB President, Dr. David Watts, said.

Watts said he agrees individuals should be able to protect themselves, but worries how law enforcement would handle it. 

"It's a concern, I think, for law enforcement officials to be able to differentiate between people who are trying to protect themselves and people who are trying to harm others," Watts said.

However, not everyone thinks it's a good idea.  Here's what some UTPB students had to say:

"I think it would create a state of paranoia and hinder the public education system in Texas," UTPB Student, Austin Owens, said.

"What if somebody gets angry at somebody else and they have a gun they can just pull it out. Or they could steal somebody's gun.  I don't really see how that would make us safer," UTPB Student, Terrie Morrison, said.

"Carrying concealed weapons is wrong. You never know of people might get into an argument and rather than trying to settle it with words, they want to shoot each other," UTPB Student, Danny Martinez, said.

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people. And it doesn't matter if people are allowed to carry concealed or not. If somebody wants to bring a gun on campus, it's going to happen," UTPB Student, Lisa Brungart, said.

Facebook viewers are weighing in, too.  To read what they had to say visit our NewsWest 9 Facebook Page:
No word on if Governor Perry plans to bring his suggestion to the legislature.