Texas Wesleyan Law Review


Riley C. Massey

Publication Date


Document Type



This Comment examines recent legislative proposals for reform of the current limitations on concealed handgun licensees in Texas and their inability to readily defend themselves or others against armed attackers while on the premises of institutions of higher learningboth public and private-in this state.8 It suggests that the modifications to current law, as proposed by 2009's Senate Bill 1164, set clear workable boundaries between balancing campus safety versus reduced intellectual freedom, and the necessary evolution of the law to answer the evils of our times. Part I of this Comment frames the seriousness of the score of mass school shootings which have occurred across the United States during the past few decades within a context that legal academics may no longer conscientiously ignore. A school shooting on a law school campus should drive home the fact that no geographical area, nor level of esteem, can protect an institution from attack by a motivated, armed criminal, already willing to ignore the law. Part II of this Comment provides background information and the historical context of gun ownership rights in Texas, including the evolution of this state's legal framework for addressing public violence by allowing citizens to bear arms (whether concealed or not). Part III presents a detailed review of the current concealed handgun licensing statutes in Texas, including what is required of an individual to obtain such a license, as well as the limitations placed upon that licensee with respect to where he may and may not have his gun under authority of the license. Part IV summarizes the current state of concealed carry laws in the forty-nine states other than Texas, explaining some of the nuances and development of differing statutory schemes. Part V of this Comment examines the school-shooting phenomenon as it occurs on the campuses of institutions of higher learning, including the reasons why these mass attacks occur, where, and how they do, as well as the disincentive value of armed students and faculties. Part VI discusses S.B. 1164 as proposed and identifies elements within it in an attempt to improve on the existing doctrine, including opposition against the legislation by the academic community, as well as considerations for institutions that prohibit otherwise lawful carry, which results in a shooting death. Finally, Part VII addresses some of the arguments for and against adoption of this legislation, including policy considerations, statistical analyses, and rationales. The next time Concealed Carry reform resurfaces in Austin will be an opportunity to improve on the rights of Texas citizens to defend themselves from armed assailants where they would otherwise be most vulnerable: the shooting galleries we call classrooms.



First Page


Last Page