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A University Debates How to Carry Out a Divisive Guns-on-Campus Law

On August 1, 2016 — exactly 50 years after a student named Charles Whitman climbed into the University of Texas tower and shot 46 people, killing 14 of them — a new law on concealed firearms will take effect here. Already, emotions are exploding.

The law, known as SB 11 or ”campus carry,” will allow people who hold concealed-handgun licenses to bring their weapons into public-university buildings, including classrooms and dormitories, across the state. The legislation applies to private four-year colleges as well, but they can opt out. Starting in 2017, it will apply to community colleges too.

The fact that the rollout coincides with the anniversary of one of the most infamous mass shootings in history isn’t lost on either supporters or opponents of the law.