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Campus Carry Rules

Overview

The following rules released by President Denise Trauth regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on Texas State University property have been approved by The Texas State University System Board of Regents.


General Rules

Policy Information/Background Relevant Laws, Regulations and/or Links Nature of Student Population Specific Safety Considerations Unique Environment
No Gun Storage Provided by the University on San Marcos Campus or Round Rock Campus Texas law does not require the university to provide handgun storage for license holders. Under Texas law license holders must take a training class and license holders are taught proper handgun storage principles. It is the responsibility of a license holder to properly carry and store the handgun in a safe manner. The Texas Government, Subchapter H, Section 411.188.4: The student population of license holders does not differ from those in the general population in that both must meet the same requirements to obtain a license and safely store their weapons. Texas Government Code Section 411.188 requires that license holders are taught proper handgun storage. Providing handgun storage on campus would raise issues regarding cost, availability, security, privacy, and liability. Since the University's campuses are expansive and have many separated areas and buildings, one centralized storage area is not feasible. Multiple storage locations would be needed and would be very expensive to establish and maintain.
Discretionary Authority At the discretion of the President, concealed carry of a handgun by a license holder may be prohibited on other Texas State premises associated with temporary events involving safety considerations. There may be unique, temporary, or unforeseen circumstances wherein the carrying of a concealed handgun would pose safety concerns. Other universities, in states that allow the concealed carry of a handgun on the campus of a public university, have incorporated language in their policies that allow the appropriate authorities to establish areas on campus where concealed carry is prohibited when the nature of a particular academic setting or event would create a safety concern relative to the presence of a concealed handgun. This discretionary authority is consistent with Texas Government Code Section 411.2031 (d-1), that allows the president or other officer to amend the provisions as necessary for campus safety.       Texas State offers a broad curriculum that requires unique classroom and lab environments. The campuses host events that allow interactions with the broader community and many guests come on each campus daily. This discretionary authority will allow for flexibility in addressing safety concerns in circumstances that may not be foreseen in the pre-implementation phase of this new legislation.
Appropriate notice and signage will be provided by the University as required by Texas law.          
A license holder must carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder’s person. For the purpose of these rules, the phrase “on or about the license holder’s person” is defined as carrying a 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.          

Concealed Carry is Prohibited in Premises Providing Services or Events for Minor Children

Building(s) Room(s) Information/Background Relevant Laws, Regulations and/or Links Nature of Student Population Specific Safety Considerations Unique Environment
The Child Development Center (CDC)   CDC provides a model early education and child care program for students, staff, faculty, and the community. It serves infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Currently, there are 90 children enrolled. Each year, 500-600 University students visit as “lab students.” The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services prohibits firearms on the premises of a licensed child care facility. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Care Licensing Division: Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers, Sec. 746.3707, Subchapter S, Division 1 (PDF). Child Care Services (CCS), and the USDA Child Care and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Although enrolled students are not CDC clients, the client population consists of infants, toddlers, and pre-school age children. This population presents unique safety concerns. Young children may exhibit behaviors that are unpredictable and aggressive. Armed adults in the CDC will increase the risk of an accidental discharge. Not all universities operate a Child Development Center. Moreover, the state recognizes the uniqueness of the environment and state licensure regulations prohibit weapons in licensed child care facilities.
The Clinic for Autism Research Evaluation and Support (CARES) and the Assessment and Counseling Clinic (ACC) San Marcos Campus: 1st Floor of Education Building and Round Rock Campus: AVRY 111 and 112 CARES, housed in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology in the College of Education, provides assessment and treatment to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (e.g., autism.) More than a dozen such individuals between the ages of 2 and adulthood (18+ years old) are in CARES rooms, moving through the hallways between CARES rooms, or near the front doors. ACC houses several programs/departments and serves diverse client populations including members of the general public. The focus is on children and family counseling. Among the clients served, children are the most vulnerable, as are adults with mental illness, and individuals in abusive relationships seeking support. Gen. Government Code 411.172 Although enrolled students are not CARES or ACC clients, the clinical population that includes children from age 2 to 18 years presents unique safety concerns. CARES provides treatment to reduce aggressive behaviors. Grabbing someone who is armed could lead to an accidental discharge. CARES' adult clients with milder intellectual disabilities or mental illnesses, if a license holder, would be able to bring a gun into the clinic. Children and adults with intellectual disabilities may not know how to behave upon seeing a gun, and would likely not behave in predictable ways. ACC serves families in crisis who often exhibit problematic behavior including conflict, aggression, abuse, and/or violence. ACC also serves clients who are in the process of leaving abusive relationships. Providing mental health services to potentially volatile clientele creates safety concerns. Not all universities operate clinics that serve individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities or clinics that provide counseling services to children and families in crisis.
Speech-Language-Hearing and Physical Therapy Clinics in the College of Health Professions HPB Rooms 101, 104, 111, 110A, 112-128 The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is a training facility for undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Communication Disorders. An on-campus clinic is required for the program’s national accreditation. Disorders range from hearing loss and problems expressing wants and needs, to understanding others. The causes of these speech and hearing problems range from autism to developmental delays, reduced cognitive abilities, neurological problems, dementia, stroke, learning disabilities, and prenatal/birth defects. Aggression, tantrums, impulsivity, and agitation are common in these populations. The Physical Therapy Clinic is a clinical training facility for Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate students. About 70 patients are seen by these students under faculty supervision. Clientele include children and adults, many with neurological, developmental, and cognitive disorders. The mobility of all patients is compromised or reduced in some way. In certain cases, cognition may be compromised or reduced. Gen. Government Code 411.172 Although enrolled students are not clients, the clinical population that includes children in pre-K through grade 12, presents unique safety concerns. Behavioral, cognitive emotional/affective and communicative issues in the populations served by these clinics may cause situations wherein a patient does not understand the implications of playing with or touching a gun. Many younger patients cannot delineate between a toy and a real gun. Due to limited understandings, specifically through talking and hearing, many patients cannot follow directions, tell others what they saw, or hear a communicated warning. The safety of the patients would be jeopardized in the case of an accidental discharge or a found handgun. Additionally, in the Physical Therapy clinic a concealed handgun may restrict the prescribed theraputic program especially in situations where clothing must be removed and/or where body manipulations and treatments would make the requirement that all weapons remain "concealed" impossible. Few public universities have a degree in Communication Disorders and/or Physical Therapy. Therefore, few have an on-campus Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic or Physical Therapy Clinic.
Locations Used for Pre-K Through Grade 12 Summer Activities / Camps on the San Marcos Campus and on the Round Rock Campus Residence Halls used for summer camps; Music Bldg. during summer terms; Avery Bldg. during Summer I term, and other summer camp locations During the summer months (June and July), the Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHRL) offers on-campus housing to over 50 camp and conference groups serving pre-K through grade 12 attendees. The School of Music and additional locations on the San Marcos Campus offer such programs. The Avery Building on the Round Rock Campus is used for these events during the Summer I term. Texas Penal Code Section 46.03 and 46.035 (PDF) The majority of attendees are school-aged students. Typically, one adult supervises groups of roughly 30 participants.   Not all universities offer summer programs on campus for pre-K through grade 12 participants.

Concealed Carry is Prohibited in Premises Providing Health Care Services

Building(s) Room(s) Information/Background Relevant Laws, Regulations and/or Links Nature of Student Population Specific Safety Considerations Unique Environment
The Student Health Center San Marcos Campus - SHC; Round Rock Campus - Room 116, Nursing Bldg. The Texas State University Student Health Centers at the San Marcos Campus and the Round Rock Campus provide primary, women’s, and psychiatric healthcare services to university students. The Student Health Centers have experienced healthcare providers, including physicians and nurse practitioners. Medical, laboratory, digital radiography, and pharmacological services and prescription drugs are available on-site. Gen. Government Code 411.172. Although it does not qualify as a hospital, many of the same safety concerns prohibiting handguns at such facilities apply. The Centers are nationally accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC). All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to receive services at the Student Health Centers. The nature of the student population served and diversity of services provided raise concerns about the fear of injury to self and others in the Student Health Centers. The combination of mental health services and the ability to prescribe and dispense pharmaceutical medications, creates additional concerns. The law does not provide a mechanism, nor would it be safe or appropriate, for a mental health provider to require that a handgun be relinquished after a diagnosis is made. The Student Health Centers serve students suffering from psychological, as well as alcohol and other drug abuse disorders that can lead to threatening behaviors and violence.

Concealed Carry is Prohibited in Premises Used for Disciplinary, Legal Compliance, and Counseling

Building(s) Room(s) Information/Background Relevant Laws, Regulations and/or Links Nature of Student Population Specific Safety Considerations Unique Environment
San Marcos Campus - LBJ Student Center - and Round Rock Campus in Nursing Building San Marcos Campus - LBJ 5th Floor and Round Rock Campus, Room 116 in Nursing Building The fifth floor of the LBJ Student Center contains Student Affairs offices that provide sensitive services to vulnerable and potentially volatile populations. The majority of distressed students served in this area have an immediate need for assistance and there is a high density of vulnerable and potentially volatile students served in this area. Distressed students are frequently walked between offices on this floor. It is not unusual for University Police Department officers to respond to situations involving safety concerns for students and/or staff. On the Round Rock Campus the Counseling Center provides clinical services to individuals, groups, and couples. It engages in crisis intervention and consultation. Concerns addressed include stress, anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, substance abuse, and adjustment to college. The center also trains new mental health professionals. Gen. Government Code 411.172. Accreditation standards, International Association of Counseling Services. The doctoral internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers. Services accessible to students on the fifth floor of the LBJ Student Center, include the Dean of Students Office (which includes Student Justice), Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services, and the Counseling Center. On the Round Rock Campus, the Counseling Center provides counseling and crisis intervention services to students, including students in crisis with an immediate need for said services. Government code makes a chemically dependent person, or a person diagnosed by a licensed physician as suffering from a psychiatric condition, ineligible to be a license holder. At Student Justice, violations of the code of student conduct are adjudicated. Students often demonstrate high levels of anger and frustration at adjudicatory proceedings. Additionally, populations prone to substance and alcohol abuse can be present at the Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services. Students with mental illness who might present a danger to themselves or others attend the counseling centers. The law does not provide a mechanism, nor would it be safe or appropriate, for a mental health provider to require that a handgun be relinquished after a diagnosis is made. The fifth floor of the LBJ Student Center and the Counseling Center on the Round Rock Campus are unique because there is a density of vulnerable, volatile, and distressed students seeking services for which they have an immediate need. The majority of the offices on the San Marcos Campus that deal with disciplinary matters, quasi-judicial and administrative hearings, legal compliance issues, as well as substance abuse, mental health and disability issues are on the fifth floor. University Police Department officers are often required to assist in many of these situations.
Premises Used for Disciplinary Action as Defined in Official University Policy Statements Various locations on the San Marcos and Round Rock Campuses are used for disciplinary matters, legal and quasi-judicial matters, and legal compliance. Disciplinary actions can be taken against students, staff, organizations, and faculty members. Adjudication of a disputed matter is done in accord with the processes and procedures required by the applicable University policies. Processes often include quasi-judicial, administrative hearings and dispositions. Disciplinary sanctions vary from verbal warnings to employment termination or student expulsion. Texas Penal Code Section 46.03 and 46.035 (PDF) A disciplinary action may be brought against an undergraduate or graduate student, an organization, a staff member, or a faculty member. Disciplinary action involves adjudicatory processes that can include individual and/or group meetings, hearings, mediations, quasi-judicial proceedings, and appellate proceedings. Premises of the University wherein formal disciplinary actions are being conducted are comparable to governmental courts. The Texas Penal Code prohibits carrying weapons in a court. That same rationale provides justification to disallow weapons in matters involving adjudication at the university level. Since disciplinary matters, hearings, and legal compliance of faculty, staff, organizations, and students may occur in a variety of locations.

Concealed Carry is Prohibited in Premises When Used for Competitive Sporting, NCAA, and UIL Events

Building(s) Room(s) Information/Background Relevant Laws, Regulations and/or Links Nature of Student Population Specific Safety Considerations Unique Environment
Locations on the San Marcos and Round Rock Campuses Used for Competitive Sporting, NCAA, and UIL Events While Such Events Are Occurring Bobcat Stadium; Strahan Coliseum; Bobcat Baseball/Softball Complex; Track and Field Stadium, and other locations where such events are held Texas State University hosts a number of competitive sporting events where guns are prohibited by Texas law, NCAA and UIL rules and regulations. Texas Penal Code Section 46.03 and 46.035 (PDF). Texas State's Safety and Security Plan, approved by the NCAA; NCAA rules; and UIL Rules and Regulations (PDF) Students and the general public, including children, attend these events. UIL events are specifically held for middle and high school aged participants and their guests. Texas law prohibits weapons at athletic and interscholastic events. Large capacity sporting events and UIL events, are hosted on both the San Marcos and Round Rock Campuses. Said events require that safety and security plans are in place in order to provide a safe environment.

Concealed Carry is Prohibited in Premises Used for Official Residence or Governmental Events

Building(s) Room(s) Information/Background Relevant Laws, Regulations and/or Links Nature of Student Population Specific Safety Considerations Unique Environment
President's House and Surrounding Grounds PRES The President's House is both a private residence and a location where the President hosts official University events. The President is required to reside in the President's House that is located on the San Marcos Campus. Texas Penal Code Section 46.03 and 46.035 (PDF) Guests include individuals from the University community, community-at-large, minors, elected and/or appointed public officials, donors, prospective donors, University Presidents, the System's Board of Regents, Chancellor, staff, and invited speakers. The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the University and is required to reside in the President's House. Specific safety concerns can suddenly arise when uninvited individuals arrive at the residence and/or when unanticipated intrusions occur at the residence. The President's House is located on University property and is owned and maintained by the University.
Locations used for Governmental Meetings Locations on San Marcos and Round Rock Campuses when used for governmental meetings Texas law does not allow a license holder to carry a handgun in governmental meeting venues (Texas Penal Code Section 46.035 Subsection C) Texas Penal Code Section 46.035 Subsection C (PDF)   At various times in various locations on both the San Marcos and Round Rock Campuses governmental meetings are held and under Texas law concealed carry of handguns are not permitted in those locations during the time the governmental meetings are held.  
LBJ Student Center - When Used For Polling 3rd floor, LBJ when used for polling purposes. During governmental elections, citizens are allowed to cast ballots at the LBJ Student Center. Texas Penal Code Section 46.03 and 46.035 (PDF)   Under Texas law, license holders are not permitted to carry concealed weapons at polling sites.