A Texas House panel has voted to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into college classrooms.
The measure has been opposed by state universities and gives schools a chance to opt out of the campus-carry provision if they first consult with students, faculty and staff. For campuses that still ban weapons, the bill reduces the penalty for a violation from a felony to a misdemeanor.
The 7-1 vote by the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety sends the bill to the full House for consideration. The committee did not debate the bill before taking a vote.
Gun rights supporters say the bill is a self-defense measure that will help prevent campus shootings. Opponents say allowing guns into campus buildings only increases the chances for violence.