AUSTIN - Last June, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Washington, D.C., ban on handguns, some state legislators and legal experts thought the high court's ruling affirmed Americans' right to own firearms and saw no need for any gun legislation in next year's session of the Texas Legislature.
But Sen. Jeff Wentworth, author of last year's castle doctrine law - which gives Texans the right to attack an intruder if they feel threatened at their home, business or car - says Texas needs at least one more gun law, and he is planning to author it.
The San Antonio Republican is drafting a bill that, if the Legislature approves and Gov. Rick Perry signs into law, would allow Texans with concealed gun permits to carry their weapons on college campuses, where concealed weapons are now prohibited.
"I want to introduce this bill because I want the students to have a chance to live if something like that happens again," Wentworth said in reference to last year's shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, which claimed the lives of 32 and six people, respectively. "Right now, they are sitting ducks."
In addition, OpenCarry.org, a relatively new but well-organized group based in northern Virginia, has launched a major campaign to lobby the Texas Legislature to pass an "open carry" law, which would let people wear their firearms in plain view, just like law enforcement officers in uniform.