“Chicken Little” Predictions & Bogus Cost Figures; What’s Next?

Perhaps the Oracle of Delphi will soon speak on the subject.

First we have Kelly Burke, President of the Texas Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, giving false testimony under oath (video at the 07:56:50 mark) during public hearings in the Senate State Affairs Committee on the campus-carry Bill (SB11).

Now we have bogus claims that Texas colleges and universities will have to spend tens of millions of dollars if SB11 were to pass. Sen. Rodney Ellis (Lie to Get Elected?) seemed to have invited such false claims when he asked witnesses at the hearing how much they would have to spend if campus-carry passes. He inquired why there is no fiscal note attached to SB11. The reason is clear – schools will not have to spend a dime!

There are guns all over college and university campuses now.

Texas law does not prohibit the carrying of handguns on school campuses; only buildings are off-limits. (See, Tex. Penal Code §46.03(a)(1).) This limited prohibition is based upon the narrow definition of “premises” found in Tex. Penal Code §46.035(f)(3) that reads:

"Premises" means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

Parents, visitors, delivery personal, sight-seers and countless other people who have a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL) are on college and university campuses every day throughout the State. This fact is not a secret; it is well-known by school administrators and professors. It has been stated in every public hearing in the House and Senate in every session in which a campus-carry bill has been filed. Everyone knows guns are on campus now.

Cost to implement campus-carry would be minimal.

The $40+ million dollar estimated cost being bandied about by opponents of SB11/HB937 is a fabrication. The only way to come even close to that number would be the installation of metal detectors and every entrance to every college building on every campus in Texas. Since guns are all over campus now, it is clear that schools do not think metal detectors or any other equipment or signs are necessary since they certainly are not currently in place.

Since there are no metal detectors at building entrances now, anyone can enter with a handgun. If SB11 or HB937 were to pass, what would be the point of installing metal detectors since schools would not be able to prevent a CHL from entering with their self-defense handgun? School administrators and opponents of SB11 cannot be heard to argue that the metal detectors would be installed to keep non-CHLs from entering. That can happen now, yet we see no such equipment at building entrances.

Storage of handgun in school housing.

Both campus-carry bills authorize colleges and universities to regulate the storage of handguns in dormitories and other residential housing located on campus. The cost to implement any reasonable regulations adopted should be nothing more than the salary for the person typing the new rules in the schools rule books. Any reasonable regulations should be limited to requiring the student CHL to lock their handgun in a strong box specifically made to safely secure handguns and the student could be required to provide the strong box. If a school decides to install gun safes in every unit, then that would be a ridiculous requirement and an unnecessary expense.

No Chicken Little, the sky is not falling.

The $40+ million dollar cost of implementation claim is bogus. The clear intent is to divert attention away from the need to allow adult college students who have a CHL the means with which to defend themselves against violent predators. If one takes a moment to think about it, this tactic is despicable not only because it involves a lie, but also because of the message that campus-carry opponents send to victims. At its core, the fraudulent cost argument tells victims of violent crimes that their safety is subordinate to operational costs. That should be repugnant to all honest Texans.