Campus Carry: Background Information
Concealed carry became permissible in Texas in 1995. Chapter 411 Subsection H of the Texas Government Code addresses the eligibility requirements for becoming a concealed handgun license (CHL) holder. By law, CHL holders must be at least 21 years old (or be active military or a veteran), be a resident of Texas, meet other requirements such as no record of felony conviction, and be fully qualified under federal and state law to purchase a handgun. Persons who are in the U.S. under nonimmigrant visas are prohibited from possessing, shipping, transporting, or receiving any firearm or ammunition. Concealed handgun licensees are required to undergo mandatory training prior being issued a license for concealed carry. Within the state of Texas, CHL holders represent approximately 3% of the state’s population.
Section 46.035 of the Texas Penal Code specifies the conditions for unlawful carrying of a handgun by license holders. A license holder is held to the standard of carrying a handgun on or about the licensee and the handgun must be concealed, meaning that the gun’s presence is not openly discernable to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person. This section also prohibits intentional display of the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place as well as possession, whether or not concealed, in specific areas.
To date, 150 college and university campuses across the U.S. permit concealed carry on campus, including two institutions with medical and health sciences programs – the University of Utah and the University of Colorado. There are few instances of accidental harm by a CHL holder on a campus where concealed carry is permitted, and no known incidents of intentional harm.