WT's campus conceal carry forum

WT's campus conceal carry forum

Canyon, TX -  Texas' controversial "Campus Carry" law doesn't go into effect until August, but many at West Texas A&M are already discussing the change.

The campus carry law was signed in June, but students and faculty across the state are still worried about the in's and out's of the rule. WT faculty made it their priority to clear up any confusion to make students feel more confident.

"Initially, I had a lot of pull back, I was not a fan of it," said WT student Matthew Downey.

Downey is one of several students at WT who have questions about how the new conceal campus carry will be implemented.

"The safety is an absolute must, I'm not going to go somewhere where I do not feel safe," said Downey.

Another student, Kathryn English says one of the biggest misconception with this law is that many think suddenly there's going to be hundred's of guns on campus.

"That's not the case," said English.

Vice President of student affairs, Mike Knox, helped air those concerns this evening -- by gathering public opinion from students and faculty in series of town hall meetings.

"Our students are feeling more comfortable with the more information they have," said Knox. "We've tried to make an effort to frame the conversation around the reality of the issue."

Some of the main concerns were how conceal carry on campus will affect other school policies, and where the gun free zones will be on campus.

"I think it is something necessary to think about, especially how they were talking about the athletic center and all of the other events they host on campus," said English. "I think we should try to preserve that as a gun free zone as much as we can."

Some of the suggested gun free zones WT is looking at are the child care and medical facilities, as well as the museum on campus.

"They had over 20,000 school children to tour it last year, there were 500 in there just yesterday. So, that's another area that we're talking about," said Knox.

Knox also says the university is considering supplying gun storage lockers, including lockers at campus dorms. While nothing has been set, most of the students say the town hall meetings were informative.

"I'm still not 100% pro, but I feel a lot better after attending this town hall meeting," said Downey.

The Board of Regents will be responsible for approving WT's policy on gun free zones which will happen in the spring.