A Texas House panel voted Thursday to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their handguns on college campuses.

The 7-1 vote by the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety sends the bill to the House for consideration.

Officials from state universities oppose the measure, but it gives schools an opportunity to opt out of the campus-carry provision if they consult with students, staff, and faculty.

If campuses still ban the weapon to be brought on campus, the bill reduces the penalty for the violation from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Supporters of the campus carry measure say the bill will allow students to defend themselves from predators and help prevent school shootings.

Opponents of the measure say the measure, if approved, will increase the chances of violence on college campuses.