ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – In the fall, a new law will allow college students with concealed carry permits to bring a gun to school in Texas.
It has some students at the University of New Mexico asking why they cannot do the same.
The question came up after a student wrote a letter to the school newspaper.
“It’s kind of unsafe for women at night, but I don’t think that guns would help that,” said Olivia Heath, a UNM student.
“I’m not too sure how I’d feel if it’d be passed, whether I would feel safer or not,” said UNM student Devon Castro.
In a letter to the editor in UNM’s Daily Lobo, a student with a concealed carry permit wrote that it is absurd that he can’t protect himself at school after going through background checks and extensive training.
“No one is allowed to carry any firearms, ammunition, incendiary devices, bombs or any dangerous weapon,” said Lt. Tim Stump with UNM Police of the university’s policy.
The same will not be true at Texas universities come fall because of a new law there. It allows concealed carry permit holders to bring guns on college campuses although each university can add some restrictions.
Dale Perkins teaches concealed carry courses in Albuquerque and said some of his clients are UNM students.
“That’s one of the main things they hammered on, is how can they carry on campus,” Perkins said. “I told them they can’t, not until we get things changed.”
Not only is it against UNM’s policy, it is also against state law.
Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) doesn’t see a need to change that.
“You just increase the odds of something really bad happening, some potential tragedy happening, the more firearms you have on campus,” he said.
“The security [at UNM] is very good, but they can’t be everywhere and the students need to be able to protect themselves,” Perkins said.
It’s not because of the Texas law change, but UNM is planning to revise its campus violence policy in the fall.
It is an effort to be more clear about weapons that are banned on campus after confusion and debate over things like pepper spray or stun guns.