No gun related incidents reported at UTEP since SB11 went into effect
EL PASO, Texas —
Students and teachers have been allowed to carry guns in University of Texas at El Paso classrooms since August 1, 2016. It has been more than two months since Senate Bill 11 went into effect, allowing guns on Texas public universities.
Not just anyone can carry guns at UTEP. You have to be 21, with a license to carry, and that gun must be concealed. You should never be able to see it, but qualified students and teachers have been able to carry concealed weapons legally for more than two months.
Whether you feel safer, or less safe about guns in the classroom, UTEP's Campus Carry law got off to a quiet start. Every student KFOX14 talked to on Monday said it has not been an issue.
"Have you seen anybody carrying guns around campus?" KFOX14 reporter Ashley Claster asked UTEP Senior Gaby Gallegos.
"No," she answered.
"Not once?" Claster asked.
"No," Gallegos answered.
“Have you heard of any incidents happening?" Claster asked.
"Not regarding guns, no,” Gallegos answered.
"No ma'am, I haven't," UTEP Sophomore Jacob Salado told Claster.
"Have you seen anybody carrying?" Claster asked.
"No, I haven't,” Salado answered. “I've heard a couple of my friends talk about it, like once they turn 21, they will go buy a gun and they will carry it on campus."
Claster contacted the University to find out if anything has happened regarding Campus Carry, or if there have even been any calls to campus police since August 1. UTEP officials sent her a statement reading, "There have not been any reported gun-related incidents, or calls since SB11 went into effect."
"I guess I feel safer,” Gallegos said. “Because we have heard about other colleges having incidents. You never know what the case might be, so it would be nice if people on campus that are carrying guns also know how to use them."
"I feel less safe because I'm not 21 yet, so I can't have a gun yet. So I feel less safe,” Salado said.
Even though she is glad the guns are there, Gallegos thinks things can still go wrong.
"You don't know the psychological state that the person is in, so that all matters too,” she said.
"Are you going to buy one once you turn 21?" Claster asked Salado.
"Definitely,” Salado answered. “If they have one, why shouldn't I have one?"
There are still several places on campus where licensed gun owners cannot carry guns.