AUSTIN -- The University of Texas System's new chancellor has penned a letter to state leaders in opposition to a bill proposing the concealed carry of weapons on college and university campuses.
Senate Bill 11, authored by 19 Texas senators, was filed in the Texas Senate on Monday and was referred to the Senate Committee on State Affairs on Wednesday.
FULL TEXT: Senate Bill 11
Admiral William H. McRaven, recently appointed as UT System chancellor, wrote a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus expressing his opposition to the bill.
In the letter, McRaven mentions "unease" expressed by mental health professionals at the idea of concealed weapons on campus, writing, "There is great concern that the presence of handguns, even if limited to licensed individuals age 21 or older, will lead to an increase in both accidental shootings and self-inflicted wounds."
McRaven later mentions the hospitals and outpatient facilities on campus that often treat "seriously ill and otherwise vulnerable persons" whose emotions can flare when stressed, or if loved ones are ill, mentioning a recent incident at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital when a surgeon was killed by the distraught son of a deceased patient.
McRaven also mentions that university law enforcement is "particularly troubled about the ability of our officers to differentiate between the bad actor and persons seeking to defend themselves and others when both have guns drawn."
He also expresses concern at the "high density" of campus housing and whether licensed individuals will be able to store or secure the guns when they are not carrying them.
"In light of all these concerns and apprehensions, I feel the presence of concealed weapons will make campus a less-safe environment," McRaven writes.
McRaven's predecessor, Francisco Cigarroa, also opposed campus carry, as McRaven mentions in the letter.
Read the full letter below or go here.