American-Statesman file photo: Matthew Short of Victoria, public relations director with Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com, and president of both groups, Murdoch Pizgatti of Plano, pose with weapons outside the Bastrop Police Department last summer.
Gun rights activists voice their opinion in a rally held by anti-carry gun protestors as they gathered on the West Mall of the University of Texas campus to oppose a new state law that expands the rights of concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons on public college campuses. Starting August 1, 2016, permitted gun holders can carry in campus buildings although schools can however designate limited gun-free zones.
The Open Carry Walk and Crisis Performance Event will involve actors “shot” by perpetrators armed with cardboard weapons, said Matthew Short, a spokesman for the gun rights groups Come and Take It Texas and DontComply.com.
“It’s a fake mass shooting, and we’ll use fake blood,” he said. He said gun noises will be blared from bullhorns. Other people will then play the role of rescuers, also armed with cardboard weapons.
He said the group was not seeking any sort of permit for the event from Austin or UT. University officials were not immediately available for comment.
“Criminals that want to do evil things and commit murder go places where people are not going to be able to stop them,’ he said. “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away.”
Asked if he was worried the demonstration, which will be preceded by a walk through Austin with loaded weapons might appear in bad taste following the mass shootings in San Bernardino and Paris, Short said: “Not at all. People were able to be murdered people because no one was armed.”
Loaded weapons are currently not allowed on UT campus, but that will change next August when the new campus carry law goes into effect. The law will allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry their handguns into dorms, classrooms and other public university buildings, though universities may draft some campus-specific rules that may include limited gun-free zones.