Texas’ Campus Carry Law (Senate Bill 11)

As many of you are aware, the 84th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11, commonly known as the “campus carry” bill. While this law became effective August 1, 2016 for universities, it does not go into effect for community colleges until August 1, 2017. At that time, individuals holding a license to carry (LTC) (formerly, concealed handgun license (CHL)) will have the legal right to carry a concealed handgun onto community college campuses; however, they cannot openly carry the handgun. (It is important to note that the “campus carry” law is separate and apart from the law governing “open carry.” With “open carry,” it is illegal to display a firearm on the premises of any college campus.)

The concealed carry law requires the president of each institution, after consulting with students, staff, and faculty, to establish reasonable rules, regulations or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on college campus. Based on such input, the president will recommend to the college’s Board of Trustees specific areas of the campus that are to be “gun-free zones.”

During the month of August 2016, I will convene a Campus Carry Task Force to gather input from students, staff, and faculty on the reasonable rules, regulations or other provisions that would work for COM. Although COM is slightly less than a year away from implementing the requirements of SB 11, a preliminary timeline has been developed to delineate the implementation process.

As we work toward compliance with Senate Bill 11 and the best plan for COM, you will have the opportunity to provide input to the COM Campus Carry Task Force once it begins its work this fall. While community colleges must follow the state law, it is important to collaborate on this topic to ensure that COM remains a safe place to work and learn. Your safety is our highest priority. Notifications will be provided to students, staff, and faculty and signs will be posted to help ensure that everyone is sufficiently informed of the rules.

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