The Texas attorney general says universities in the state would be violating a new campus carry law if they banned guns in student housing.
The Texas Tribune reports that Attorney General Ken Paxton's non-binding opinion goes against recommendations made by a task force at the state's largest higher-education institution, University of Texas at Austin. Earlier this month, the task force called for banning guns in residence halls.
The law, which gives those who have concealed-carry licenses the right to have handguns on campuses, provides universities some leeway--schools may declare some buildings gun-free.
But the law says those gun-free zones can't make it impossible to reasonably carry a handgun at all. In his opinion, Paxton says banning guns in student housing would have that effect. Plus, he noted, the new law allows universities to create rules for how guns are stored in residence halls. That provision, he wrote, "presupposes [guns'] presence in dormitories."
The University of Texas task force, in recommending a ban on guns in student housing, noted that two or more students occupy most dorm rooms. If a gun were stored improperly, someone other than the owner would have access, the task force said, and the risk of accidental loss, theft or misuse of a weapon was too great.