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Guns at UTSA Discussed On Campus and in the Senate

By Victor H. Hernandez
On April 20, 2011

"No, it's not dead," Sen. Jeff Wentworth said last Tuesday, "It's clearly not dead."

Sen. Wentworth (R-San Antonio) had a major blow last week, when the senate bill 354, a bill that would allow concealed handguns on college campuses, failed to be considered on the senate floor.

Sen. Wentworth was short by several votes when two democrats, Sen. Mario Gallegos (D-Houston), Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) and a republican, Sen. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) retracted their supporting votes last week.

Senator Ogden, whose district encompasses the highly student populated area around Texas A&M University, expressed his concern last week regarding the inconsistencies in the bill, which allow private universities but not public universities to opt out from being gun-friendly.

Sen. Gallegos withdrew his support after talking to members of his district; he considers his decision absolute. Sen. Lucio, on the other hand, has mentioned his willingness to support the bill only if it is amended to allow universities to vote on the issue.

According to Wentworth's office, the bill has the support of two out of the 12 Democratic senators and 18 out of 19 Republican senators; that is to say the bill has 20 out of the 21 votes needed for approval.

The bill's future is still uncertain.

Several institutions such as UT Austin, Texas State, Texas A&M, UT Arlington and UT Pan American have already contacted their senators opposing the bill. UTSA's Student Government Organization is holding an online poll for students to vote and voice their opinion from April 19-20 — a month later than the rest of the universities.

To vote, log into your homepage on ASAP, and scroll down to the "Vote now" link.

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