New law in Texas allows students to carry concealed guns on campus

The new measure came into effect on the 50th anniversary of a mass shooting at the University of Texas

New law in Texas allows students to carry concealed guns on campus

Handgun stock | Image: David J. Phillip / AP/Press Association Images

A new law has come into effect in the US state of Texas on Monday allowing students to bring guns on campus.

The 'campus carry' law allows people aged 21 or over who have a concealed handgun license to carry pistols in buildings and classrooms throughout public universities as of August 1st.

Guns will still be banned in sports arenas and other areas such as research labs, and on-campus daycare facilities. Dorms will depend on the individual campus.

The new law came into effect on the 50th anniversary of a mass shooting at the University of Texas, which claimed the lives of 14 people and wounded 32 others.

In the early hours of August 1st 1966, a former marine Charles Whitman brought a number of weapons to the campus and began firing at random from the clock town of the main building.

Whitman was eventually shot dead by a police officer.

File photo of the University of Texas, August 1st 1966 | Image: AP/Press Association Images

Supporters of the law have said it could prevent mass shootings, with Texan Republicans arguing that gunmen often target "gun-free zones" - such as university campuses and cinemas - because they do not meet resistance when they commit their crimes.

However, critics believe that these new measures will endanger safety on campuses, with many taking to Twitter to express their anger:

The law will not come into effect at community colleges and junior colleges until 2017, however.

Private schools are also allowed to opt out of the 'campus carry' law. According to The Texas Tribune only one private college, Amberton University, is planning to allow guns on campus. 

While the East Texas Baptist University and Southwestern Assemblies of God University rejected the law, but will allow certain faculty members to have guns.

Texas is the eighth state to allow 'campus carry' along with Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Wisconsin and Mississippi.

In other states where it is allowed, universities have not reported much of a disruption in campus lifestyle.