COM Campus Carry FAQs – August 1, 2017
- Who can carry a gun on campus?
- Persons who are a Licensed to Carry (LTC) holder may carry a concealed handgun on campus. Any commissioned peace officer may carry a weapon on campus. Peace officers will also display a badge near their weapon.
- What is the difference between concealed carry and open carry?
- Under concealed carry, no person should notice that the person is carrying a gun. The outline of a gun should not be visible through their clothing or bag. Only concealed carry is permitted on campus. Open carry enables a visible carrying of a gun. Open carry is not permitted on campus.
- What weapons are acceptable for carry under Campus Carry?
- Only handguns are permitted. Handguns are any firearm that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.
- Can a gun be kept in a vehicle on campus?
- Yes, individuals legally storing a handgun in their personal vehicle according to Texas law is permitted in the college’s parking lots.
- Where are concealed handguns allowed on campus?
- A person with a License to Carry (LTC) may carry a gun anywhere on campus except in those areas declared as Gun Free Zones. Gun Free Zones are indicated by signs conspicuously placed at the entrance. Some areas may be temporary Gun Free Zones depending on the type of activity that will be held in the building.
- What should I do if I see a gun on campus?
- The primary responsibility for enforcement lies with law enforcement. If you see someone carrying a handgun on campus the safest course of action is to call Campus Police at 409-933-8599. The Campus Police will make contact with the individual.
- Can a student who legally possesses a concealed handgun be excluded from the classroom on the grounds that the student’s presence and his or her concealed weapon constitute a class disruption?
- No. The mere act of a licensed holder carrying a concealed handgun is not in and of itself a disruption of class activity. Likewise, another person’s adverse reaction to someone carrying a concealed handgun is not grounds to remove the person from the classroom.
- Can a faculty or staff member post signage or other notice that prohibits handguns in their office or classroom?
- No. All Gun Free Zones will be designated by the College of the Mainland President.
- Can a supervisor or private citizen request a list of employees who have a license to carry?
- No. This information is not a matter of public record.
- Where does a handgun need to be in order to be considered “concealed”?
- The handgun must be on or about the person which means the gun could be in a holster, purse, backpack, or other item. “On or about” means actual care, custody, control or management of a firearm. Lockers, cabinets, closets and furnishings are property of the College and shall not be used to store a handgun. LTC holders have sole responsibility to secure their firearms in a manner compliant with the law.
- Can I carry my handgun with me while walking on campus?
- A person who is licensed to carry may carry the concealed handgun while walking on campus. Open carry is not permitted on campus.
- Does a police officer have a right to disarm a person who has a license to carry a handgun?
- Yes. If a police officer reasonably believes a person is presenting a risk, the officer may disarm the individual.
- Can I use my handgun as a measure of self-defense?
- A weapon may be used in self-defense as permitted by law. Any employee who is not required to carry a firearm as part of their specific assigned duties with the College, but who carries a concealed weapon as a LTC holder, does so outside the scope of the duties and responsibilities of their employment with the College. Any person taking such action is to do so as a private citizen and is not serving as an authorized agent of College of the Mainland.
- Can an international student legally in Texas on a student visa obtain a license to carry?
- No. There are some exceptions which can be found in Texas Government Code 411.172.
- Is Campus Carry in effect when students or employees are at a College sponsored event that is not at a College of the Mainland campus?
- Campus Carry only pertains to the carrying of concealed handguns by LTC holders on the campus of COM as well as any properties owned, leased or rented by COM including any campuses that may be established in the future. However, any students or employees participating in College of the Mainland-sponsored events will still be required to follow the policies and rules of the College of the Mainland including Campus Carry.
- What do I do if I am at an off-site location with a COM-sponsored group where we might observe others displaying weapons (i.e. open carry) and it makes me uncomfortable?
- Your location would determine whether open carry is legal. If you encounter a situation at a College of the Mainland-sponsored event that makes you uncomfortable, you should speak with the COM staff member.
- Will COM require students, faculty and staff members who have a license to carry a handgun to register with the Campus Police?
- No. The college will not track LTC (license to carry) holders.
- Where on campus am I not authorized to carry a concealed handgun?
- Concealed handguns are not allowed in Gun Free Zones. College of the Mainland has two (2) types of Gun Free Zones – permanent and temporary.
Permanent Gun Free Zones:
The following buildings, areas, and spaces meet the requirements of a Gun Free Zone on a constant, daily basis:
- Testing Center in Building #2– COM Main Campus
- Lab School in Building #5– COM Main Campus
- COM Learning Center – League City East
Temporary Gun Free Zones:
A temporary gun free zone is a building, room, or area that meets the requirements of a gun free zone periodically when a specific event occurs so as to make it a gun free zone for that period of time. The following shall be temporary gun free zones for the period of time they meet the above requirements:
- Building #19 / Appomattox Board Meeting Room. Exception: The Appomattox Board Meeting Room shall not be a gun free zone if individuals are permitted to carry a handgun or other firearm during meetings pursuant to written regulations or written authorization by the Board in accordance with law.
- On the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event.
- Premises of a polling place during early voting and/or on election day.
- Campus facilities used for religious services.
- I’m a LTC holder in another state and I’m aware that Texas has reciprocity with my state. Will that be recognized by COM Campus Carry policy?
- Individuals with license to carry held in other states may be able to carry in Texas. The link to the DPS website listing agreements with other states is: www.dps.texas.gov/RSD/LTC/Legal/Reciprocity/index.htm.
While in Texas, you must follow the Texas laws for carrying a concealed handgun including those under Campus Carry laws and campus policies.