College students in the state of Texas could soon carry concealed weapons on their campuses after the state Senate gave final approval to a bill on Thursday.
The bill now moves to the state House of Representatives where it will receive a vote. If it passes that chamber, it will move to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for a signature.
Texas Senators approved the bill in a 20-11 vote that was split along party lines, with the Republicans voting in favour, the Associated Press reported. Thursday’s vote was a mirror image of the preliminary vote conducted on Wednesday.
Texas would join some 20 states in having so-called campus-carry laws if the bill is passed. The campus-carry bill applies to handguns.
Supporters of the bill claim that allowing students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses will make them safer, a point strongly refuted by the bill’s opponents.
The passage of the campus-carry bill in the Texas Senate comes in the same week that senators passed a bill that would allow citizens in the state to carry their weapons in the open. That bill also lies in the state House, awaiting a vote.