Senate Bill 11, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 and signed into law in June of 2015 by Governor Greg Abbott, will permit concealed handguns on Texas public university campuses, effective August 1, 2016.
Key provisions of the law include the following:
- The law allows only holders of Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL) to carry concealed handguns. Other guns, e.g., rifles and shotguns, are not permitted.
- Holders of CHL must be at least 21 years of age and have completed an approved training course.
- It is illegal for anyone to openly carry any type of firearm in university buildings or at other campus locations such as parking lots.
- Each university president may adopt rules that address the carrying of concealed handguns on campus, but the law requires that each president consult with the students, faculty and staff prior to developing the rules.
- Rules developed by a university president may specify certain campus locations as exclusion zones where concealed handguns are not allowed.
- Final rules for implementation must be widely publicized and appropriate signage must be posted.
The University of Texas System Chancellor, William McRaven, directed the Presidents of each of the 14 University of Texas institutions to establish campus-specific policies for implementing the law. Dr. William Henrich, President of The University of Texas Health Science at San Antonio, issued his plan on April 6, 2016.
Campus input and consultation was widely solicited from many sources, including a Campus Carry Working Group, which was led by Dr. Jacqueline Mok, Vice President for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs, and Chief Michael Parks, the Health Science Center’s Chief of Police. The Working Group was comprised of 31 individuals from all segments of the Health Science Center. The Working Group submitted their report to President Henrich on January 15, 2016 after meeting on multiple occasions. In addition, two campus-wide forums were held in September 2015 and November 2015.
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