Gun rights advocates experienced a win Tuesday when the Texas Senate voted to allow students to keep guns in their cars on college campuses.
The bill passed in a 27-4 bipartisan vote, with 19 republicans and 8 democrats voting in favor, according to The Dallas Morning News. It trumps rules by several state colleges and universities that prohibit guns on campus, notes Fox News.
Bill author Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) presented the bill as a matter of fairness for college students. He pointed out that many Texans legally leave their guns in cars before entering a place that bans weapons, like churches and bars. He said that college students should be able to do the same on campus, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The bill stipulates that cars on campus must be locked if they contain a weapon. However, Democratic Senator Jose Rodriguez, of El Paso, pointed out that a locked vehicle would do little prevent a potential shooter.
"We have an issue in this country right now with violence on campus," he said, per the Chronicle. "If they have ill will toward someone, all they're going to have to do is walk over to their car and get the gun."
This bill comes two years after lawmakers failed to pass a measure that would have allowed college students and professors to carry guns on campus, given they had concealed handgun licenses. It appears that Texas students would not have wanted such a measure to pass: The Huffington Post previously reported that recent opinion polls from the University of Texas at San Anthonio and Sam Houston State University, as well as a referendum vote at Texas A&M University, show a majority of students are opposed to allowing weapons on campus.
The new bill is set to go to the Texas House of Representatives on Saturday. FoxNews notes that it is likely to pass.