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UT Shooting Reignites Debate Over Guns on Campus

September 29, 2010  | 

Almost as quickly as a lone gunman peppered the University of Texas campus with rifle fire Tuesday, a public debate reignited over whether concealed handguns should be allowed on university campuses.

Coincidentally, the high-profile shooting occurred just hours before John Lott, a nationally known author and advocate of concealed-weapons laws, was to speak at UT about the failure of gun control laws. And amid the growing debate emerged this fact: Tuesday's gunman was legally allowed to carry his loaded AK-47 on sidewalks around campus, and only broke the law when he fired it and carried it into a campus building, according to authorities.

Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that he supports allowing properly licensed students to carry concealed weapons on campus; his challenger, Bill White, said he favors letting each campus decide whether to ban licensed guns.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican who co-sponsored a bill in 2009 that would have lifted the ban on concealed weapons on college campuses, said he will sign on to another try when the Legislature convenes in January.

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