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,
Task Force Charge
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 LAW||AUGUST 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
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.]
To contact the Campus Carry Task Force: firstname.lastname@example.org