As you may know, the Texas legislature recently passed Senate Bill 11, which was signed into law on June 2015.
The bill states that:
- Public universities may not prevent concealed carry license holders from carrying handguns on campus.
- Institutions may consult the student population to address unique safety considerations and propose exclusion zones.
- Institutions MAY NOT adopt rules that have the effect of generally prohibiting permit holders from carrying on campus.
- The institution Board of Trustees will have the final say on all adopted regulations.
- The rules adopted by each institution may be amended as needed for campus safety.
- License holders MAY NOT carry a firearm that is partially or wholly visible, it must be entirely concealed.
- License holders MAY NOT intentionally show a firearm to anyone in a public place or on campus
- License holders MAY NOT carry a firearm anywhere that has been designated an exclusion zone on campus.
- License holders may display a firearm ONLY when legally justified in the use of force.
The law, and the approved regulations adopted by UTHSCSA, will go into effect in August 1st, 2016.
UTHSCSA has assembled a Concealed Carry Implementation Workgroup to determine how UTHSCSA will handle coming into compliance with the law. Below is some information that has been discussed at the workgroup meetings.
Possible exclusion zones:
- The University Hospital
- Mental health facilities (Nursing School, University Plaza Building)
- Labs and storage areas containing hazardous materials (Medical School, Dental School, McDermott Clinical Sciences, Research Administration, GCCRI, STRF, Hayden Head, STCBM, Barshop)
- Locations of high volatility (Grievances, HR disciplinary hearings)
- Locations that contain MRI equipment (MARC)
Places likely to be open:
- UTHSCSA libraries
- Administration-only buildings (AAB, Facilities Management, Professional Administration Center)
- Classroom-only buildings and lecture halls
- Gold’s Gym, pavilion, and fields
- Grossman, Zeller, Urschel, MARC Plaza
- SBC Teleconference Center
- Patient care centers
- Concealed carry will not be allowed until the law goes into effect on August 1st, 2016.
- License holders have already been allowed to carry firearms onto campuses (but not into buildings) prior to the passage of the new law.
- Only handguns may be carried as concealed weapons with a concealed handgun license.
- License holders may not carry a concealed firearm while intoxicated.
- Open carry will continue to be prohibited on campus.
- Brandishing, pointing, or threatening with a firearm will continue to be illegal.
- Campus police “Active Shooter” protocols will not be changed.
- Campus police have the right to disarm anyone they believe poses a safety risk.
- “Gun-free” or exclusions zones may only be designated by the UT System Board of Trustees. Faculty and staff cannot establish or enforce exclusion zones.
- The University will not generate a list of concealed handgun license holders on campus.
- To obtain a concealed handgun license, an individual must be 21 years old, not have been convicted of a felony, not been convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor in the past 5 years, pass state and federal background checks, be of sound mental health, and not be chemically dependent. Additional requirements can be found here.
- States that currently allow concealed carry on campus are Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Utah, Wisconsin, and Oregon. Public universities in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and Idaho do not have “gun-free” exclusion zones anywhere on campus.
Please contact your student representatives Mika Sifuentes (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Brian Stoveken (email@example.com) for any questions, comments, or concerns. You may also contact us by filling out this survey. Anyone is welcome to attend the workgroup meetings.