Austin’s biggest stories of 2016: No. 10: Campus carry law

YEAR IN REVIEW

COUNTING DOWN AUSTIN’S 10 BIGGEST STORIES

We’re counting down Austin’s 10 biggest stories of the year as chosen by American-Statesman reporters and editors. We’ll unveil one story each day through Jan. 1. 

RBB Gun Free 1

On the day that it marked the 50th anniversary of the University of Texas Tower sniper shooting, UT joined other Texas public colleges in implementing rules allowing holders of concealed handgun licenses to carry handguns in campus buildings.

The changes were mandated by the Texas Legislature in 2015 when it passed Scampuscarryfront2enate Bill 11, the so-called campus carry law.

In the year after the law passed, college presidents and boards of regents spent months drafting rules for complying with the law — a period marked by numerous demonstrations in Austin, mostly by opponents of campus carry. Some UT-Austin faculty members lobbied for a ban on handguns in classrooms, but UT President Gregory L. Fenves said that would have amounted to a general prohibition of the weapons on campus, which the law forbids. Three faculty members who want the option of barring handguns from their classrooms sued but ultimately lost.

The new rules went into effect Aug. 1 and sparked new protests once students returned to campus, including one in which UT students wielded sex toys to make a point about what was permitted and what was not at UT these days.

Our coverage

April 12: Haruka Weiser death spurs campus carry debate

May 8: UT System regents unlikely to change campus carry rules much

July 1: How the 1966 Tower sniper attack fueled debate over campus carry at UT

July 29: UT’s controversial campus carry rules go into effect

Aug. 22: Judge rules againts 3 UT professors in campus carry case

Aug. 24: UT students use sex toys to protest campus carry law

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