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TCU Opts Out of Campus Carry

Texas Christian University decided Friday to opt out of campus carry, the new law that would have allowed handguns on campus.

Texas Christian University campus.

Students at Texas Christian University still won't be able to carry their guns on campus next year, the university announced Friday. 

The Fort Worth private school's board of trustees voted to opt out of the state's new campus carry law, which allows students with concealed handgun licenses to carry their guns on campus. The law applies to all public universities but allows private colleges to decide whether they want to follow it. 

Universities across the state have been hosting forums and gathering public input on the issue. TCU's faculty senate passed a resolution in October opposing allowing guns at their school. But some students asked administrators to opt in. Gun rights advocates held a rally on campus expressing support for the law. 

“It was quite clear that no matter which side of the issue each person felt was best, all cared deeply about the safety of the community," Kathy Cavins-Tull, TCU's vice chancellor for student affairs, said in a statement announcing the decision. 

So far, most private schools have expressed a preference for opting out. Southern Methodist University said in a statement this week that it was still gathering feedback on the law. In June, the university said that it would "remain a weapons-free campus." The presidents of Trinity University in San Antonio and Paul Quinn College in Dallas have also publicly said they were leaning toward opting out, too. 

Many public universities, meanwhile, are locked in their own debate. They have to allow guns on at least some parts of campus, but administrators have been given the power to declare some gun-free zones. Many professors, especially at the University of Texas at Austin, have lobbied administrators to include classrooms in those zones. 

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Southern Methodist University was a corporate sponsor of the Tribune in 2013. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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