AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 1 (Reuters) - A new law went into effect in Texas on Monday that allows certain students to bring guns into classrooms, with supporters saying it could prevent mass shootings and critics saying the measure will endanger safety on campuses.
The so-called state "campus carry" law allows people 21 and older with a concealed handgun license to carry pistols in classrooms and buildings throughout public colleges, including the University of Texas system, one of the nation's largest with an enrollment of more than 214,000 students.
The law took effect on the 50th anniversary of one of the deadliest U.S. gun incidents on a college campus, when a student named Charles Whitman killed 16 people by firing from a perch atop the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin, the state's flagship public university.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who supports campus carry, said a gunman could already bring a firearm on to campus, and the law could prevent mass shootings because someone with a licensed concealed weapon could be ready to confront a gunman.
"What campus carry does is that it only authorizes those who go through the special training and background" to carry firearms, he was quoted as saying by his office.
RELATED: 9 foods that are harder to buy than a gun
9 foods that are harder to buy than a gun
9 foods that are harder to buy than a gun
The cronut, or croissant doughnut, was first created by pastry wizard Dominique Ansel in New York City in 2013. And ever since then people have been waiting in line for hours to get their hands on one. Besides purchasing a cronut on the black market, the only way taste the sweet pastry is to stand in line, rain or shine. Some eager customers have waited out by the bakery as 5:30 in the morning to be a first customer in line when the doors opens at 8 a.m.
You don't have to wait in line to purchase a gun. As Mic previously reported, certain states don't require a license or a permit to purchase a firearm. Many states implement rules that would allow virtually anyone to purchase a gun and still have enough time to wait in a cronut line.
Beloved Pappy Van Winkle whiskey is extremely hard to acquire. Approximately 7,000 bottles of the booze are released each fall, Fortune reported. To get a swig or two, you'd have to know the right people and be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a single bottle of the liquor.
By contrast, there is an abundant supply of guns in the United States. In 2013 alone, U.S. gunmakers produced nearly 11 million guns, according to the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives. The year before that, manufacturers made nearly 9 million guns, according to a graph published by NPR.
To get a martini — one of the most basic cocktails in the book — customers at any law-abiding bar in the country have to show a government approved form of identification to prove that they are at least 21 years of age. Anyone younger will technically be denied (unless they live in one of these states).
Conversely, it's possible to own a rifle or a shotgun as a child in 30 states, the Washington Postnoted. While a thirteen year old cannot lawfully purchase a gun on their own, their parent can ostensibly purchase one and gift it to them, for their birthday, Christmas or just as a special treat.
While you can't technically eat food stamps, they are the means by which 46.5 million Americansget access to food, and the process of registering for the federal aid program takes 30 days on average, according to the Daily Beast.
To get a gun in many states, a simple background check that can happen in a matter of minutes will do, the publication added.
These cherished cookies sold by Girl Scouts are not available in store or online and can only be purchased six to eight weeks out of the year, according to the official website. The season during which they are available depends on when individual local troops sell the cookies, but the only way to pick up a pack is by ordering through a troop member.
Guns are available not only year around, but at most hours of the day, every day of the week. And buying one doesn't require tracking down a 12-year-old to place an order. GunTV even makes it possible for night owls to shop for firearms while the sun rises.
A 1938 law banned thee delightful chocolaty Kinder Surprise Eggs from being sold in the states, and it is illegal to sell or buy them on U.S. soil. The treat features a plastic package in the middle that holds a toy and the government is worried that it is a choking hazard for young children,BuzzFeedreported.
There have been at least seven reported deaths due to choking on this product since 1989. By comparison, an average of seven U.S. children or teens are killed by guns — which are not banned in the states — every day in America, the Everytown For Gun Safety Support Fund noted.
The Scottish delicacy haggis, which is made from a sheep stomach or lung, stuffed with diced sheep liver, heart and more lung, as well as oatmeal and onion and seasonings, is technically illegal in the U.S. The United States Department of Agriculture banned any foods containing lungs out of concerns over food safety in 1971, BuzzFeednoted. So to get any properly, legally made haggis, interested parties must travel to Scotland.
A gun can be purchased online from the comfort of your very own bed, the Washington Post wrote.
The sale and farming of the popular seafood option is now heavily regulated by the American government because of overfishing. Only certified Chilean sea bass fishing boats can harvest and sell the fish, HG.org noted.
Pretty much anyone can sell a gun. The online gun marketplace makes it especially easy to sell guns on the internet, said the Washington Post.
University of Texas professors lobbied unsuccessfully to prevent the law, arguing that the combination of youth, firearms and college life could make for a deadly situation. University President Gregory Fenves reluctantly allowed campus carry, saying he was compelled to do so under state law.
Last month, three professors sued to block the law, saying it could have a chilling effect on academic freedom. Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said the law was constitutionally sound and he would defend it.
The law allows private colleges to opt out, and most of the state's best-known private universities have done so, saying the measure runs counter to protecting student safety.
Eight states allow people to carry concealed weapons on public post-secondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
At the University of Texas Austin campus, third-year student Courtney Dang said the idea of campus carry was scary.
"There are so many students battling the stress of campus. Some are unstable and we don't know who has a gun," said Dang.