HOUSTON -- The Lone Star College campus and all other college campuses in the state are gun-free zones.
But Tuesday’s shooting rekindled a debate already brewing in Austin: Should Texas college students be allowed to carry pistols for their own protection?
Just five days before the Lone Star College shooting, state Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) introduced Senate Bill 182.
If the bill passes, it would allow students, faculty and staff with a concealed handgun license to carry a gun on Texas college campuses.
"For me, this isn't just about the firearm," the Sen. Birdwell said. "It's about trusting citizens with their God-given constitutional rights."
But while lawmakers in Austin decide whether they will change Texas law, five other states -- Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin -- already allow concealed handguns on public college campuses.
Twenty-three other states allow colleges and universities to make the decision on their own.
"I think it would probably be a lot safer,” said Lone Star College student Victoria Rodriguez.
"I mean I just don't think they need to be for everyone,” said Lone Star College student Tyler Stright. “I mean, I think they just need to be off campus completely.”
The proposed Texas law would not allow all students to carry -- but only those 21 and older.
“You know, it really doesn't matter,” said Rodriguez, “because you never know what to expect."