POLITICS

Texas Senate Clears Concealed Carry Of Guns On Campus

A Texas state trooper stands outside of a hearing where lawmakers discuss whether to legalize concealed handguns on college c
A Texas state trooper stands outside of a hearing where lawmakers discuss whether to legalize concealed handguns on college campuses and open carry everywhere else, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

May 30 (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled Texas Senate voted on Saturday to allow the licensed carrying of concealed handguns in most state university buildings.

The measure includes a caveat that lets college presidents designate "gun-free zones" on their campuses.

Passage by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives is expected on Sunday and would send it on to Republican Governor Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

The bill was a priority for gun rights activists, even though many universities statewide opposed it.

Senator Rodney Ellis, a Democrat from Houston who voted against the bill, said in a statement that the passage reflected "misplaced priorities."

Both chambers had passed their own versions of the bill. A weekend agreement between House and Senate negotiators set up Senate approval.

Texans must be 21 to get a concealed-carry license, meaning many college students will not qualify. The measure would take effect in fall 2016.

The Senate vote came a day after the legislature approved a bill that would allow for openly carrying handguns in public. Abbott has vowed to sign it.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson Editing by W Simon)

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