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Campus Carry

Update on the Implementation of Campus Carry

May 31, 2016

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents fully supported and endorsed the recommendations provided to them at their regularly scheduled April 2016 meeting. As a result, President Young has established the President’s Advisory Committee on Campus Carry Implementation to ensure consistent implementation of University Rule 34.06.02.M1 (PDF).

The committee will be responsible for developing and communicating procedures to the campus community and the President that address implementation of the rule by June 15, 2016, and submit those procedures for review as Standard Administrative Procedures by September 1, 2016. These procedures will address guidelines for posting approved signage and the processes for requesting and reviewing requests for presidential approval of areas where licensed carry of a handgun will be prohibited. The committee will develop a program to periodically review and update the list of premises on the Texas A&M campus where licensed carry of a handgun is prohibited by February 1, 2017. Throughout this process, the committee will provide regular updates to the Texas A&M community.

Update from President Michael K. Young on Campus Carry

April 13, 2016

To the Texas A&M University community:

As you know, the 84th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11, which is effective August 1, 2016, and expands the areas on public university campuses where those with appropriate licenses are authorized to carry concealed handguns. As President of Texas A&M, I am deeply committed to creating the optimal environment for learning, discovery and work. At the same time, as a state institution, we are subject to the demands of the law and will necessarily comply.

After considerable efforts to engage the broad university community and gather feedback regarding the unique culture at Texas A&M, and with concern for safety and security guiding their decisions, members of the Campus Carry Policy Task Force comprising students, faculty and staff have made 14 recommendations, all of which I am pleased to fully endorse and almost all of which I have adopted intact and submitted to The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. However, after discussion with A&M System legal counsel, as well as advice from the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, I modified the recommended rule related to campus carry in private offices. That proposed rule, as well as the other proposed rules can be viewed at http://www.tamus.edu/proposed-campus-carry-rules/.

Absent further action by the A&M System Board of Regents, which will review these rules in April 2016, these rules will go into effect on August 1, 2016.  The Task Force report is available at http://www.tamu.edu/statements/Campus_Carry_Final_Report_3-10-16.pdf.

The task force recommendations were formulated based on several key factors:  results of the campus-wide survey of students, faculty and staff conducted last fall; feedback from individuals who might be directly affected by the legislation; careful review and analysis of the text of Senate Bill 11; legislative intent of the law; the 2015 Attorney General Opinions; January 26, 2016, discussions between members of the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs and University System Chancellors; as well as recommendations from other public institutions of higher education.

I am confident that the real concern expressed throughout the process is reflected in the task force's recommendations, which are tailored specifically to the needs of our campuses, and are the most appropriate way to fully implement the new law at Texas A&M. Key recommendations include adoption of governing factors and principles; establishment of a working group to address implementation and ongoing issues; identification of specific license holder responsibilities; guidelines for campus community outreach and education; and regulations specific to residence halls; prohibition of handguns in compliance with existing federal and state statutes; and prohibition of concealed handguns in particular locations, events and situations on campus. Such exclusions to the law include individual private offices, as approved by me in light of the standard articulated in the rules, child care facilities, youth camps, counseling centers, legal clinics, clinical care facilities, research laboratories, maritime vessels, sporting venues and events, and premises where administrative investigations are conducted.

I am immensely grateful to the 22-member Campus Carry Policy Task Force and its chair, Assistant Vice President for Safety and Security Chris Meyer, for their thorough review of all aspects of upholding and implementing the new law and their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. My position on these issues is a matter of public record from the time I served as President of the University of Utah, but, as President of Texas A&M, I am committed to ensuring Texas A&M University is in compliance with the law and intend to implement this law and related university rules as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

Michael K. Young,
President

Task Force Charge

TO: Task Force Members
  • Christopher Meyer, Task Force Chair, Assistant Vice President for Safety and Security
  • Michael Benedik, Vice Provost
  • Joe Benigno, President, Texas A&M Student Body 
  • Marisa Biondi, President, Graduate and Professional Student Council
  • Jerry Brown, Assistant General Counsel, The Texas A&M University System
  • Toni Eubanks, Chairperson, University Staff Council 
  • Liam Guthrie, Student Representative, Texas A&M Health Science Center
  • Angie Hill-Price, Speaker, Faculty Senate
  • Glen Laine, Vice President for Research
  • Jenna McCarty, President, Residential Housing Association
  • Deena McConnell, Associate Vice President, Office of the Provost
  • Darlene McLaughlin, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Mary Meagher, Chair, Council of Principal Investigators
  • Alyssa Marie Michalke, 2015-2016 Commander, Corps of Cadets
  • Andy Morriss, Dean, Texas A&M School of Law
  • Michael O’Quinn, Vice President for Government Relations
  • David Parrott, Executive Vice President, Division of Student Affairs
  • Joseph Pettibon, Associate Vice President, Office of the Provost
  • Michael Ragan, Chief, University Police Department
  • Todd Sutherland, Assistant Vice President, Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • Vernon Tesh, Vice President, Division of Academic Affairs, Texas A&M Health Science Center
  • Janice Walpert, Chair, Athletics Department Safety Committee

The 84th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11, which expands the areas on public university campuses where those with licenses may carry concealed handguns. Universities have been given discretion to implement the law based on our unique campus cultures, with a focus on safety and the gathering and careful consideration of input from the broad campus community.

To that end, I greatly appreciate your commitment to providing me with recommendations for the implementation of SB 11 at the College Station and Galveston campuses of Texas A&M University as a member of the Campus Carry Task Force.

I request that the task force develop recommendations that will uphold the integrity of the law, ensure the safety and security of everyone on campus and foster a climate of mutual respect to create the most supportive learning environment possible. These recommendations should be based upon your considerable individual expertise, along with significant input from students, faculty and staff.

Because SB 11 goes into effect on August 1, 2016, I ask that you provide me with your recommendations no later than April 30, 2016, to ensure sufficient time for review and implementation.

Michael K. Young, President
August 13, 2015

Please note: the law specifically prohibits university presidents from establishing “provisions that generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus.


Campus Carry: Current Law vs. Aug 1, 2016

CURRENT LAWAUGUST 1, 2016
Type of License: Concealed Handgun License (CHL) Type of License: Handgun License
A CHL holder can carry a concealed handgun on campus on a public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area. A handgun license holder can now also carry a concealed handgun anywhere on a university campus, including in buildings, unless prohibited by state or federal law, or university rule.
  • The changes enacted by Senate Bill 11 (Campus Carry) are effective August 1, 2016. Since 1995, a CHL holder has been able to carry a concealed handgun on a university campus in a public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area. This new law permits a handgun license holder to carry a concealed handgun anywhere on campus, including in buildings, except where already prohibited by state or federal law, or the new university rules associated with changes in the law.
  • The changes enacted by House Bill 910 (Open Carry) are effective January 1, 2016. However, this law does not permit open carry on a university campus.
  • The changes enacted by Senate Bill 273 (Wrongful Exclusion of Concealed Handgun License Holder) are effective September 1, 2015. SB 273 permits the state to fine Texas A&M University if it attempts, by utilizing a Penal Code 30.06 notice, to prohibit a concealed handgun license holder from carrying a concealed handgun in a place not prohibited by sections 46.03 or 46.035 of the Penal Code. In other words, unless existing state law prohibits carrying a concealed handgun in a location, a state agency cannot bar carrying a concealed handgun at the location. The fine can be $1,500 per day for the first offense, and can be as high as $10,500 per day for a second or subsequent offense.

Other States with Similar Laws

States that permit the concealed carry of handguns for license holders on university campuses: Utah 2004, Oregon 2011, Colorado 2003, Kansas 2013, Idaho 2014, Mississippi 2011, Wisconsin 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

[Note: This is not intended to be a complete listing of all laws applicable to the carrying of handguns in the State of Texas. It is intended to highlight the provisions applicable to carrying a handgun on the campus of Texas A&M University.]

1. What is the university doing to prepare for campus concealed carry?

SB 11 outlines the process universities must use to implement the new law. President Young assembled a Task Force to obtain input from students, faculty and staff to establish “reasonable rules” on campus carry. Recommendations developed by the Task Force were submitted to President Young in March, who fully endorsed and adopted intact all but one recommendation related to campus carry in private offices. Recommendation #7 required modification in order to fully comply with SB 11.

In accordance with the new Texas A&M policies on campus carry, President Young established an advisory committee tasked with advising him on the consistent implementation of University Rule 34.06.02.M1 (PDF), Carrying Concealed Handguns in Campus. This committee is charged with: supporting the consistent implementation of this rule and associated Standard Administrative Procedure; provide periodic review of premises approved under section 6.C.2 of this rule; and compile and maintain a list of campus premises where license holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun.

The committee is currently reviewing and developing procedures and educational materials to provide to the Texas A&M campus community. Additional information will be provided over the coming months prior to Aug. 1, 2016, the date at which campus carry will become effective.

On September 1, 2016, a month after the new university rule become effective, the university will be required to submit the rule to the legislature for review, including an explanation of why the university adopted the provisions.

2. Who can carry or possess a concealed handgun on campus now under current law (through July 31, 2016)?
  • Holder of a concealed handgun license (CHL) under specified conditions
  • Individuals without a CHL under specified conditions
3. Where on campus can a concealed handgun be carried now under current law (through July 31, 2016)?
  • Individuals without a concealed handgun license (CHL):
    • In a motor vehicle that is owned by the individual or under their control so long as the handgun is not in plain view and they are lawfully permitted to own a handgun.
  • Holders of CHL:
    • Can carry: Public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
    • Cannot carry:
      • Physical premises (building or portion of building)
      • Any grounds on which a Texas A&M sponsored activity is being conducted
      • A Texas A&M passenger transportation vehicle (e.g., bus)
      • On the premises of a polling place on the day of the election, including during early voting
      • In or into a secured area of an airport
      • Premises where a collegiate sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place (e.g. Kyle Field during football game)
      • On the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship
      • At any meeting of a governmental entity (e.g. Board of Regents)
4. Does a handgun currently have to be concealed when it is being carried on campus?

Yes if a:

  • Concealed handgun license (CHL) holder intentionally or knowingly displays the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place, it is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Handgun is in an individual’s motor vehicle, it must not be in plain view.
5. What do I do if I see someone with a handgun on campus?

The safest course of action is to call the Texas A&M University Police Department by dialing 911. They will respond and make contact with the individual to determine if that person is an authorized license holder and is legitimately carrying a firearm.

6. What if someone has a handgun in violation of the law? What is the penalty?

3rd degree felony (Places Weapons Prohibited – Texas Penal Code §46.03) if carry a handgun on:

  • Physical premises (building or portion of building) of Texas A&M University campus
  • Any grounds on which a Texas A&M sponsored activity is being conducted
  • A Texas A&M passenger transportation vehicle (e.g. bus)
  • The premises of a polling place on the day of the election, including during early voting
  • In or into a secured area of an airport

Having a concealed handgun license (CHL) is not a defense to prosecution for any of the above.

  • Class A Misdemeanor (Unlawful Carrying Weapons – Texas Penal Code §46.02) if carry a handgun anywhere on campus, other than those places listed above, without a CHL, unless the individual is in a motor vehicle and the handgun is not in plain view.
  • Class A Misdemeanor (Unlawful Carrying of Handgun by License Holder – Texas Penal Code §46.035) if holder of a CHL carries a handgun:
    • 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.
    • On the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship
    • At any meeting of a governmental entity (e.g., City Council, County Commissioners, or Board of Regents)
7. What are the requirements to obtain a concealed handgun license in Texas?

In general, individuals are eligible for licenses to carry concealed handguns, if they:

  • Are over 21 years of age;
  • Have been a legal resident of the state for a six-month period preceding the application;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony;
  • Are not currently charged with commission of a Class A or B misdemeanor;
  • Are not chemically dependent;
  • Are capable of exercising sound judgment;
  • Are not currently restricted under a court protective order or subject to a restraining order affecting a spousal relationship;
  • Are qualified under federal and state law to purchase a handgun;
  • Are current on child support payments or other monies collected by a state agency; and
  • Take and pass a course that has a written test and a shooting proficiency test.

Full eligibility requirements are explained in Texas Government Code § 411.172.

8. What will the new law on campus carry allow that is currently prohibited?

Current law allows concealed handgun license (CHL) holders to carry a concealed handgun on a university campus only in parking lots, parking garages, driveways, streets, sidewalk or walkway and other outdoor areas, except where an activity sponsored by TAMU is being conducted.

Beginning September 1, 2016, public four year universities must allow concealed carry of handguns in buildings by handgun license holders. Universities will be allowed to designate certain areas on campus where carrying of concealed handguns by license holders is prohibited, subject to system and legislative review.

9. What are the requirements to obtain a handgun license?

See answer to question 7 above (What are the requirements to obtain a concealed handgun license in Texas?)

10. When does the new law on campus carry take effect?

August 1, 2016 for public four-year universities. September 1, 2017 for two-year public colleges.

11. How many people have a concealed handgun license in Texas?

As of December 31, 2014, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported that there were 825,957 active concealed handgun license holders. The population of Texas was 26.96 million in 2014; 2.7% held a CHL.

In 2013, 0.03% of CHL holders had a criminal conviction. In 2014, 0.12% of CHL holders had their license revoked.

Reports and statistics for concealed handgun licenses can be found on the Texas Department of Public Safety website under Concealed Handgun > Reports and Statistics > Demographics.

12. What is “open carry” and when does it take effect?

On June 13, 2015, Governor Abbott also signed into law House Bill 910. This law permits handgun license holders to openly carry (no duty to conceal) a handgun in areas where it is not prohibited by law. This law becomes effective on January 1, 2016.

13. Will the new open carry law allow license holders to openly carry a handgun on campus?

No. HB 910, the open carry law effective January 1, 2016, provides a handgun license holder cannot carry a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless if it is holstered, and intentionally or knowingly display the handgun in plain view of another person on the premises [building] of a university, or any driveway, street, or parking area of a university.

15. Can I personally make a rule that someone who has a license to carry a handgun cannot carry it into my office, classroom, or laboratory?

No. Effective August 1, 2016, concealed carry is allowed on university campuses, including all offices, classrooms, and laboratories by anyone holding a valid handgun license, unless carrying a handgun is prohibited by state law, federal law, or university rules. SB 273 prohibits the university and its employees from imposing restrictions greater than those imposed by law. Violations of SB 273 can result in a fine to the university as high as $10,500 per day. Please see the Campus Carry Final Report (PDF) for additional information.

16. If someone does not have a license to carry a handgun, can they carry a handgun on campus under the new law?

No. Carrying a concealed handgun is only legal if an individual has a handgun license. State law does permit those without a handgun license to carry a handgun in their vehicle if the handgun is concealed and the person can legally possess a firearm. See Texas Penal Code 46.02(a)(2).

17. If someone without a license carries a handgun on campus, what are the penalties?

If the person is a student, faculty member, or staff member they can be sanctioned according to the rules applicable to their status. It may also be a violation of the criminal law. The offense can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on where the handgun was carried.

18. Can an international student legally in Texas on a student visa obtain a CHL?

NO. To obtain a Texas Concealed Handgun License you must be qualified under state and federal law to purchase a handgun. See Texas Government Code 411.172. An international student here on a student visa is prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition unless they meet certain exceptions; for example, they are admitted to the U.S. for lawful hunting or sporting purposes. There are other exceptions. See 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B) and 922(y)(2).

19. Can an undocumented international student obtain a CHL?

No. Undocumented students are not legal residents of the state. To obtain a CHL, a person must be a legal resident of the state for a 6-month period preceding the date of the application.

20. Is a handgun license holder required to display identification if asked to by a magistrate or a peace officer?

Yes. The license holder shall display both the license holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by DPS, and the license holder's handgun license. Texas Government Code § 411.205.

21. Is a handgun license holder required to respond if someone other than a peace officer or magistrate asks them if they have a handgun license?

No. A handgun license holder is not required to disclose he has a license to anyone except a magistrate or peace officer. A person engaged in lawful activity (i.e., applying for and obtaining a handgun license) is not required to provide information to any person, including a university official, about their personal choices, beliefs, or practices.

22. What would preclude someone from getting a handgun license?

See answer to question 7 above.

23. What states have a reciprocity agreement with Texas so handgun license holders from other states can lawfully carry in Texas?

There are 42 states that have a reciprocity agreement with Texas.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

When in Texas, license holders from other states must follow Texas gun laws, not their home state’s gun laws.

24. What states do not have a reciprocity agreement with Texas?

Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

25. What will happen if a minor gains access to my handgun?

It is a violation of criminal law if a child (person younger than 17) gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence failed to secure the firearm; or left the firearm in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access. (Texas Penal Code §46.13). It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the child's access to the firearm was supervised by a person older than 18 years of age and was for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes; or that access was gained by the child trespassing on the firearm owner’s property. (Texas Penal Code §46.13).

26. What will happen if an adult gains access to my handgun?

It is not a violation of Texas law for a handgun owner to permit an adult to gain access to a handgun.

27. Does Texas A&M University offer a concealed handgun license course?

No. Courses are available locally from various gun shops, sporting goods stores, and individuals licensed as a Qualified Handgun Instructor.

28. Will the university track handgun license holders on campus?

No.



To contact the Campus Carry Task Force: campuscarry@tamu.edu