It’s been one year since Texas became a campus carry state…well, sort of.
On August 1, 2016, Senate Bill 11 went into effect, allowing ccw permit holders to carry their weapons onto public universities, including classrooms and dorms. However, the bill only applied to 4-year colleges. Community, or junior, colleges could choose exemption for up to one year – and time is up.
Starting Tuesday, all public university campuses are required to allow permit holder to carry their weapons on campus. But it’s important to note that there are still some exemptions. Each university can make it’s own rules, limiting where guns are permitted.
For example, at the University of Texas at Austin, faculty and staff can declare their offices gun-free zones. And while students living in dorm can carry in common areas, they are prohibited from keeping their weapons in their rooms.
Conversely, at Texas A&M University, College Station, students are permitted to bring their weapons into their dorm rooms. And while faculty members can make their offices gun-free zones, they must first receive permission from the university to do so.
Each university/college president is required to have an open discussion with students, faculty and staff to create such rules. These rules must then be approved by the Board of Regents or Board of Trustees with a two-thirds vote, before going into effect. As an extra check, every other year, colleges must send these rules to the state legislature for review, and explain why they created them.
Any established rules must be made known to students, faculty and staff, and all gun-free zones must be prominently labeled.
The law also bans guns from all college-operated hospitals and anywhere a school event (i.e. a sports game) is taking place.
While Second Amendment advocates would consider Texas’ campus carry law a huge win, not everyone in the state is on board with it.
Many students and professors are concerned having gun on campus will make them anxious and paranoid, heightening tensions and ultimately creating a poor leaning environment.
Proponents of the bill say the exact opposite, arguing campus carry will make them feel safer, more at ease.
So far, campus carry has been quite successful in Texas. There’s no reason to believe adding junior colleges to the list will change that.