[Updated with response from Students for Concealed Carry.]
Citing the University of Texas’ new campus-carry law, singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne announced this morning that he is canceling his concert scheduled for Thursday at UT’s Bass Concert Hall.
The law, which went into effect Aug. 1, allows licensed gun owners to bring concealed handguns into Bass during performances.
LaMontagne addressed the issue in a prepared statement: “I consider myself to be a very open minded human being, and I always try and see things from another’s point of view. I realize this is a controversial issue and there are strong feelings on both sides of it. But no matter how hard I try to understand the rationale for allowing guns on campus or more broadly, the ‘concealed carry’ law in general, I just cannot in any way support that ideology.
There are a lot of things this country needs more of, but guns aren’t one of them. On behalf of myself and the band, and everyone involved in the tour, I want to express our collective disappointment in the decision to allow guns on campus, and within the campus venue.”
Those who bought tickets with a credit card will receive automatic refunds, according to a press release from C3 Presents, the show’s promoter. Those who paid with cash must be refunded at the original point of purchase. The C3 statement directs those with questions to the Texas Performing Arts Ticket office phone number, 800-982-2386.
It’s the second time LaMontagne has canceled an Austin appearance this year. He was scheduled to play a free outdoor show during South By Southwest but canceled the day before, citing illness. His last Austin performance was in 2014 at the Long Center.
Students for Concealed Carry issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon referring to LaMontagne’s cancellation as “hypocritical grandstanding.” The statement read, in part, “why did he, just three days ago, perform at Salt Lake City’s Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, another venue that allows the licensed, concealed carry of handguns?”
The Utah venue falls under county jurisdiction covered by Utah’s concealed-carry regulations. It is not, however, a university campus venue.