The University of Houston has removed a student artist's project that shows a real gun shooting a banner that says "art"—just weeks before Texas' new concealed-campus-carry law goes into effect.
He then directly contacted the University's police about whether his piece would be allowed; the police forwarded his inquiry to school administrators. Eventually, the Office of the General Counsel released the following statement:
"Under current Texas state law, firearms are forbidden on campus. The fact that they may be exhibited as part of an arts exhibition doesn’t change the analysis."
In an email, the Cougar said, the school's chief of police added, "No guns are currently allowed on campus. We do not censor art.”
The piece is now being displayed without the gun.
DuLaney said he is amused.
“There's an obvious implication of power that this thing has, that this inanimate object has when combined with ammunition and intent to create damage,” DuLaney told Houston Press. “So I wanted to create a piece that said all of that, but that was diffused by being cloaked in a statement of art."
Nine states now have concealed campus carry laws.
"I was hoping my alterations of this piece would transform it and it would be seen strictly as an art piece and then we could be having this conversation," DuLaney told ABC13. "The authorities here on campus felt otherwise. They felt it was still a weapon, even though it had been altered, and couldn't be included."
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.