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Campus Carry FAQ

Effective August 1, 2016, concealed carry of a handgun by license holders is allowed on Texas public university campuses subject to restrictions imposed by statutes and by the University President. Concealed carry is prohibited in some buildings on Texas State University campuses.

This FAQ is designed to help educate and spread awareness about the implementation of the Campus Carry law and the President’s rules regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on Texas State University campuses. The President’s rules, which have been approved by the Board of Regents of The Texas State University System, are set forth in PPPS 10.01 and Supplement to PPPS 10.01, and can be viewed at www.txstate.edu/campuscarry/rules.

Also, a University Policy and Procedure Statement (UPPS) is in place that addresses the concealed carry of handguns on university premises. Please see UPPS 01.04.45.

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What is the new “Campus Carry” law and when does it go into effect?

Texas Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) was passed by the Texas Legislature and was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on June 1, 2015. This law is often referred to as “Campus Carry.” The law permits individuals with a concealed handgun license (CHL) or License to Carry (LTC) to carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder’s person on public university campuses in Texas beginning August 1, 2016.

The law requires university presidents to develop rules for the concealed carrying of a handgun on the campuses of their institutions. In creating these rules, university presidents may consult with students, staff, and faculty, and consider the nature of the student population, specific safety concerns, and the uniqueness of the campus environment. Texas State University’s campus carry rules can be accessed at txstate.edu/campuscarry.

Could Texas State University have opted out of the Campus Carry law?

No.

The law mandates that every public university in Texas must implement the Campus Carry law. Only private institutions of higher education were given the option to opt out of the Campus Carry law. See Texas Senate Bill 11 (SB 11).

What does “concealed carry” mean?

“Concealed carry” of a handgun means that the handgun cannot be visible, either partially or wholly, and must not be intentionally or knowingly displayed in plain view of another person.

What does concealed carry of a handgun “on or about the license holder’s person” mean?

On Texas State University Campuses, a license holder is required to carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder’s person which means that the handgun must NOT be visible.

The phrase “on or about the license holder’s person” means that the license holder must carry the concealed handgun in a manner such that it must be close enough to the license holder that he or she can grasp it without materially changing position.

Who is a valid license holder under the Campus Carry law?

A license holder is an individual that holds a valid License To Carry (LTC) or Concealed Handgun License (CHL) that is issued by the State of Texas or recognized by the State of Texas. See link for more information about Texas law and licensing requirements: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/faqs/index.htm.

What is the difference between “Campus Carry” and “Open Carry”?

The phrase “Open Carry” refers to a law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 (HB 910) that allows a license holder to openly carry a handgun in various locations in the State of Texas starting January 1, 2016.

However, the “Open Carry” law specifically PROHIBITS open carry of a handgun on the premises of a college campus, including public and private driveways, streets, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, parking garages, or other parking areas located on a college campus.

Under the “Open Carry” law, a license holder can visibly carry their handgun in a holstered manner. However, under the “Campus Carry” law, only the “concealed carry” of a handgun by license holders is allowed on public university campuses, subject to restrictions imposed by statute and by the University President. See Texas Senate Bill 11 (SB 11).

Is a license holder allowed to openly and visibly carry a handgun on campus?

No.

Openly and visibly carrying a firearm or illegal weapon on Texas State University Campuses remains PROHIBITED.

The “open carry” law that went into effect in Texas on January 1, 2016, specifically prohibits “open carry” on the premises of a college campus, or on public and private driveways, streets, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, parking garages, or other parking areas on a college campus. See a law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 (HB 910) and Texas Senate Bill 11 (SB 11).

What responsibility does a license holder have to keep his/her weapon absolutely concealed?

A person with a valid Concealed Handgun License (CHL) or License to Carry (LTC) is required by law to take reasonable measures to conceal the handgun. For example, if a person’s coat opens in the act of raising his/her arm to ask a question and a gun can be seen, such an accidental act may not be considered a violation.

However, if a person takes a gun out of concealment or otherwise displays/brandishes their weapon, it is a violation. Regardless, if a handgun is visible, immediately call the police at “911” and allow the University Police Department to determine if a violation has occurred.

Can anybody legally carry a handgun on a Texas public university when the law takes effect?

No.

Texas Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) authorizes concealed carry by license holders only. License holders include people who have received the state-mandated training and met the other statutory requirements for a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) or License To Carry (LTC).

To obtain a license, a person must be 21 years of age (with the exception of active duty military and police officers); meet state and federal qualifications to own a handgun; and receive CHL training from a certified instructor for the Department of Public Safety. See link: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/faqs/index.htm

Can out-of-state visitors carry a handgun if they have an out-of-state issued concealed license permit?

Maybe.

Forty-two states have reciprocity with Texas. However, while at Texas State, those license holders must follow Texas Law. Check the Texas Department of Public Safety's Agreements with Other States site to see if your state is on the list.

If I see someone carrying a weapon on campus, should I call the police?

Yes.

The best course of action is to call the University Police Department by dialing “911”. They will respond and make contact with an individual to determine if that person has a concealed carry permit and is appropriately carrying the weapon in compliance with all applicable laws and University policies.

All license holders are required to carry their license/permit on their person if they are also carrying their weapon.  

Is there anywhere on campus where guns are PROHIBITED?

Yes.

Please see the full list of locations where the concealed carrying of a handgun is PROHIBITED on Texas State University Campuses at txstate.edu/campuscarry. Below is a quick reference listing of the designated gun-free zones on Texas State University Campuses:

  • PREMISES PROVIDING SERVICES OR EVENTS FOR MINOR CHILDREN including the Child Development Center (CDC), Clinic for Autism Research Evaluation and Support (CARES), Assessment and Counseling Clinic (ACC), Speech-Language-Hearing and Physical Therapy Clinics, and Locations used for Pre-K through Grade 12 summer session activities and camps. Please note that events for minor children including, but not limited to public and private school activities and events, are often held in various locations on both the San Marcos and Round Rock Campuses and under Texas law, the carrying of a handgun to said events and activities is prohibited. Examples of such locations include The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and the Freeman Aquatic Biology Building.
  • PREMISES IN PREMISES PROVIDING HEALTH SERVICES including the Student Health Centers and Counseling Centers.
  • PREMISES USED FOR DISCIPLINARY, LEGAL COMPLIANCE, AND COUNSELING including the 5th Floor of the LBJ Student Center, Counseling Centers, and any location when used for disciplinary matters, legal and quasi-judicial matters, and legal compliance. Please note that there are many locations on campus that may from time to time be gun-free zones when those locations are being used for disciplinary matters, legal and quasi-judicial matters, and legal compliance in those circumstances temporary signage will designate the location as a gun-free area.
  • PREMISES WHEN USED FOR COMPETITIVE SPORTING AND UIL EVENTS including Strahan Coliseum, Bobcat Stadium, Bobcat Baseball and Softball Complex, Track and Field Stadium, and other locations when used for NCAA or UIL events.
  • PREMISES USED FOR OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OR GOVERNMENTAL EVENTS including the University President’s House and grounds, polling location on the 3rd floor of the LBJ Student Center when used for that purpose, and the location of governmental meetings. 

Is there a place on campus where an individual can store a handgun?

No.

The University does NOT provide handgun storage for license holders on campus. It is the individual responsibility of the license holder to properly store and secure the handgun in a safe manner. See information at this link to understand responsibilities of license holders in this regard, http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/faqs/index.htm.

Does a supervisor have the right to prohibit staff employees and/or vendors from carrying a concealed handgun in the campus work environment?

No.

However, if an employee or vendor must enter a gun-free zone to accomplish their work, that employee or vendor may NOT carry a concealed handgun while in those designated gun-free areas.

Can I ask a student, faculty member, staff employee, or guest on campus if he or she is carrying a concealed handgun or if he or she is a license holder?

No.

Only a magistrate or a police officer is authorized to ask a student, faculty member, staff employee, or guest on campus if he or she is carrying a concealed handgun, and/or if he or she has a valid license to carry a handgun.

Are faculty and staff required to notify students and/or other guests that they are carrying a concealed handgun?

No.

A license holder is not required to disclose that he or she has a license to anyone except a magistrate or peace officer. A person engaged in lawful activity (i.e., applying for and obtaining a handgun license) is not required to provide information to any person, including a university official, about their personal choices, beliefs, or practices.

Can a faculty member add language to a course syllabus that provides information about campus carry?

Yes.

The following is the suggested language to use in the course syllabus: “Effective August 1, 2016, concealed carry of a handgun by license holders is allowed on Texas public university campuses subject to the restrictions imposed by statutes and by the University President. Concealed carry is prohibited in some buildings on Texas State University Campuses. Please see txstate.edu/campuscarry.”

Can a faculty member or staff member prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in their private office?

No, unless the private office is located in a designated gun-free zone. Faculty and Staff private offices are generally not located in a designated gun-free zone.

 

Is there an accessible list with the names of individuals on campus who are license holders?

No.

There is no publically accessible list of the individuals in Texas who are valid license holders.

Are students who live in University housing and/or their guests permitted to carry a concealed handgun?

Yes, if they comply with all university policies including those outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities guide (http://www.reslife.txstate.edu/current/responsibilities.htm).

However, the majority of students who live in University housing will not be license holders, since most dormitory residents do not meet the age eligibility standard required to be a license holder.

Please note that dormitories are not designated gun-free zones except those dormitories that are used during summer sessions in connection with summer camps and activities for minor children.

During the time periods that specific dormitories are used for summer camps and activities, the concealed carry of a handgun by residents and guests is PROHIBITED. During those time periods and in those locations, temporary signage will indicate that the concealed carry of a handgun is prohibited.

Are visitors, while staying in on-campus housing (dormitories/residence halls) during summer session camps and conferences, permitted to carry concealed handguns into University housing?

No.

When on-campus University housing (dormitories and residence halls) are used during summer sessions in connection with summer camps and activities for minor children, said locations are designated gun-free zones.

During the time periods that specific dormitories and residence halls are used for summer camps and activities, the concealed carry of a handgun by residents, visitors, and guests is PROHIBITED. During those time periods and in those locations, temporary signage will indicate that the concealed carry of a handgun is prohibited.

 

If living in or visiting on-campus University housing, is handgun storage provided for a license holder?

No.

The University does NOT provide handgun storage for license holders on campus. It is the individual responsibility of the license holder to properly store and secure their handgun in a safe manner.

See information at this link to understand responsibilities of license holders in this regard, http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/faqs/index.htm.

Does a faculty member have a duty to carry a concealed handgun to protect the students in their classroom?

No.

Under the campus carry law, no person has a duty to either carry a concealed handgun or use a concealed handgun to protect anyone. If an emergency situation arises on campus, in or out of the classroom, the University Police Department should be called immediately and standard response protocol should be followed.

All classrooms have written instructions located on the wall next a door that lists steps to follow in specific emergency scenarios (Emergency Procedure Instructions in Classroom).

See link to emergency management and standard response protocol: www.police.txstate.edu

What should faculty and students do if an active shooter situation arises in a classroom?

All individuals must immediately take steps to protect themselves from harm and call “911”.

All classrooms have written instructions located on the wall next to a door that list steps to follow in specific emergency scenarios including instructions regarding “Active Shooter Emergency Response” (Emergency Procedure Instructions in Classroom).

See link to emergency management and standard response protocol: www.police.txstate.edu

What should faculty and students do if they receive emergency alerts concerning a campus lockdown due to an active shooter or other dangerous situation?

If on-campus, individuals must immediately take steps to protect themselves from harm.

All classrooms have written instructions located on the wall next to a door that list steps to follow in specific emergency scenarios including instructions regarding “Active Shooter Emergency Response” (Emergency Procedure Instructions in Classroom).

See link to emergency management and standard response protocol: www.police.txstate.edu.

If off-campus, individuals should NOT come to campus during a lockdown situation even if that means a student or faculty member will miss class, appointments, or office hours.

May I use a concealed handgun in self-defense if there are shots being fired?

You should familiarize yourself with the applicable Texas statutes pertaining to use of a concealed handgun. The concealed handgun license holder is solely responsible for his/her decision on whether to use a concealed handgun. The concealed handgun license holder is NOT an authorized agent of the University and the University in no way sanctions any decision on when to use a handgun by the concealed handgun license holder.

What procedures does the University have in place to deal with someone who has a gun and is exhibiting threatening behavior?

It is a criminal act to exhibit threatening behavior with a gun, regardless of the individual’s concealed carry permit status. When a crime is committed on campus, University Police Department officers will respond and take appropriate action.

What safety precautions has the University taken in view of the new campus carry law?

Texas State University is implementing a number of security measures to ensure that it remains one of the safest college campuses in the nation.

Examples of safety precautions being implemented include increasing safety and security on campus by adding security staff, updating classroom locking mechanisms, adding lighting, creating reasonable implementation policies, revising emergency standard response protocol, providing notice and education about campus carry on Texas State Campuses, providing appropriate signage, increasing education, awareness, and training opportunities for student, faculty, and staff, and implementing rules regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on Texas State University Campuses.

Is there general notice language that has been approved for an academic department and/or unit within the University to use on its official website and in documents and literature to give notice to the public about the implementation of the new Campus Carry law?

Yes. The following universal language should be used university wide to provide general notice to the public:

  • General Notice Language to Use on Unit Websites, Brochures, Programs, Tickets, Campus Parking Map, etc.:
    • “Effective August 1, 2016, concealed carry of a handgun by license holders is allowed on Texas public university campuses subject to the restrictions imposed by statutes and by the University President. Concealed carry is prohibited in some buildings on Texas State University Campuses. Please see txstate.edu/campuscarry.”
  • Optional “Additional” Notice Language to be used by Units that are designated as Permanent Gun-Free Zone:
    • “Concealed carry is prohibited in (specify room, floor, or unit).”
  • General Notice Language to Use When a Unit Often Has Events on Its Premises Where Texas Law May Prohibit the Concealed Carrying of a Handgun (including events for minor children and Pre-K through 12 public and private school events.):
    • “Notice to CHL and LTC license holders: Events are conducted on these premises including events involving minor children and Pre-K through 12 public and private school events. Under Texas law, the concealed carrying of a handgun may be prohibited at some or all of these events. Please see, http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/faqs/index.htm.”

What liability does a state employee have under the new campus carry law?

A state employee acting within the course and scope of their employment, reasonably, and in good faith, is provided immunity under Texas law. Specific immunity is provided under the new campus carry law for state employees including student, faculty, and staff employees.

For more information, see Texas Senate Bill 11 (SB 11).

Are there best practices for having safe meetings with students, faculty, and/or staff members?

Yes.

There are many resources available to students, faculty, and staff that contain ideas and best practices for organizing, conducting, participating in, and following up after meetings. You are encouraged to explore and use all of those resources.

See this link for a partial bibliography of available resources. In addition to these resources, please see this link that contains some guidelines that relate to safe meeting practices.

Are there best practices for providing a safe classroom environment?

Yes.

There are many resources available to students, faculty, and staff that contain ideas and best classroom practices. You are encouraged to explore and use all of those resources.

See this link for a partial bibliography of available resources. In addition, please see this link that contains some guidelines that relate to safe classroom practices.

If I have to engage in a disciplinary action with a student, faculty, or staff member, can concealed handguns be prohibited during that meeting?

Yes.

Under University rules, concealed carry is prohibited in premises used for disciplinary matters, legal and quasi-judicial matters, legal compliance, and counseling. Those permanent gun-free locations include: (a) the 5th floor of the LBJ Student Center including the Texas State Counseling Center and (b) the Counseling Center housed within the Student Health Center located in the Nursing Building on the Round Rock Campus.

Additionally, other locations on campus may be used from time to time for disciplinary matters. When any location is being used for disciplinary matters, it is a designated gun-free zone and in those circumstances temporary signage will designate the location as such. Meeting organizers should contact supervisors in advance of the meeting to obtain temporary signage. Generally, the participants of those meetings will receive advance notice of the gun-free zone meeting location in the communication that announces and precedes the meeting. 

Is there a process that can be followed to designate an event as gun-free or to temporarily designate a specific area as a gun-free zone?

Yes.

At the discretion of the University President, concealed carry of a handgun by a license holder may be prohibited on other Texas State University premises associated with temporary events involving safety considerations. See txstate.edu/campuscarry.

The process that must be followed to request that a temporary gun-free zone be created is described in UPPS 01.04.45.

Does the University provide any training or professional development to educate faculty, staff, and students about firearm safety?

Yes. Education and training opportunities are provided to faculty, staff and students through the Office of Professional Development and through the University Police Department. Voluntary education and training programs are available to all individuals interested in learning more about firearm safety, advanced concealed carry training, active shooter protocol, standard response protocol, and other safety matters. See links to Human Resources webpage to learn about professional development opportunities and to the University Police Department website to learn about education and training opportunities.

Does the University have any training to prepare students, faculty, and staff about how to deal with active shooter situations?

Yes. During new faculty, staff, and student orientation sessions, the University provides information and training regarding how to deal with active shooter situations. Additionally, in classrooms, written instructions are posted on the wall next to a door that list steps to follow in specific emergency scenarios including instructions regarding “Active Shooter Emergency Response” (Emergency Procedure Instructions in Classroom).

In addition, the University provides information online that provides instructions regarding emergency management and standard response protocol. See link to emergency management and standard response protocol: www.police.txstate.edu.

If I have a concern about the implementation of the Campus Carry law, or about the law itself, or a suggestion to offer, who do I tell?

If you have a concern about the implementation of the Campus Carry law on Texas State University Campuses, please tell your direct supervisor.

If you have a concern about the actual law passed by the Texas legislature, you should contact your elected legislative representative.

If you would like to offer a suggestion about how Texas State can improve its implementation of this mandatory legislation, please go to the campus carry website and sent us your improvement suggestions using the open link survey tool at txstate.edu/campuscarry.