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Planned fake mass shooting on University of Texas campus moved

One of the first U.S. college mass shootings in the modern era occurred at the University of Texas.

By
Andrew V. Pestano
A fake mass shooting demonstration by a gun rights group planned to take place at the University of Texas at Austin on Saturday will be moved off-campus. The University of Texas at Austin said the event violates rules that prohibit outside groups from assembling on campus.. File photo by f11photo/Shutterstock
A fake mass shooting demonstration by a gun rights group planned to take place at the University of Texas at Austin on Saturday will be moved off-campus. The University of Texas at Austin said the event violates rules that prohibit outside groups from assembling on campus.. File photo by f11photo/Shutterstock

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A fake mass shooting demonstration by a gun rights group planned to take place at the University of Texas at Austin on Saturday has been moved off-campus.

The Come And Take It Texas group, also known as DontComply.com, decided to move the event to a location near the campus after the university warned demonstrators could face criminal trespassing charges. Event planners said they want participants to act out a mass shooting on campus with cardboard guns, fake blood and fake sounds of gunshots in an attempt to protest gun-free zones.

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The "Open Carry Walk and Crisis Performance" event was created because of renewed discussions by politicians and the media about cracking down on gun rights, according to Matthew Short, the group's spokesman, The Texas Tribune reported.

"We want to bring light to the fact that people are dying because we outlaw guns," Short said. "We are going to do it as a visual demonstration so that people can get an understanding of what might actually happen in this situation."

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The University of Texas at Austin said the event violates rules prohibiting outside groups from assembling on campus.

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"Many groups seek to use the university's facilities each year and they are all treated equally and are turned away," university spokesman J.B. Bird said in a statement on Wednesday. "For example, we have not allowed the Westboro Baptist Church to protest on campus and have not allowed labor groups to protest on campus."

Short said the university's warning will only change the group's plans slightly.

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"It probably will change our plans as far as pushing us 20 feet from where we were going to be standing, but UT is still our backdrop," Short said. "We figured this might come up."

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One of the first U.S. college mass shootings in the modern era occurred at the University of Texas, where former U.S. Marine and engineering student Charles Whitman killed 14 people on campus after killing his wife and mother in 1966.

The University of Texas at Austin released a report by the Campus Carry Policy Working Group on Thursday addressing the university's response to Texas legalizing concealed handguns being carried on campus.

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Texas law does not allow "open carry" and a person 21 or older must be licensed in order to carry a concealed handgun on campus.

The university made recommendations in the report, including that handguns must be kept away from patient care areas, formal hearings and laboratories where "a firearm might cause great harm, such as laboratories with extremely dangerous chemicals, biologic agents or explosive agents."

License holders who carry a handgun on campus must carry it on or about their person at all times or secure their handgun in a locked, privately owned or leased motor vehicle," the report states. "'About' the person means that a license holder may carry a handgun in a backpack or handbag, but the backpack or handbag must be close enough to the license holder that he or she can grasp it without materially changing position."

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Handguns must also be carried in a tight-grip holster that completely covers the trigger and trigger guard area. Semiautomatic handguns must be carried without a chambered round of ammunition.

The university also said fewer than 1 percent of students have gun licenses and 1 in every 500 students are older than 21. For the past 20 years, Texas law allowed people to carry concealed weapons on campus but not in buildings.

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