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Education

Public and Private Texas Universities Take Up Campus Carry Implementation

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Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune
As Texas universities look at implementing SB 11, the so-called "campus carry" law, private universities have the ability to opt-out of the law.

Both public and private colleges in Texas are in the process of deciding how to implement a new law that allows licensed gun owners to bring their handguns on to campuses. Two schools – Texas Christian University and Texas State University – have recently taken up implementing the law before it goes into effect in August 2016.

The decision-making process is different based on a school's status as either public or private. Private schools can simply opt out of the new law after consulting with campus stakeholders, and that’s what TCU announced it was doing late last week.

The Fort Worth school’s faculty senate and student government had both passed a resolution opposing guns on campus after a public comment period and a campus-wide poll showing that nearly three-quarters of the community supported an opt-out.

The school’s board of trustees backed that up by voting to opt out of the law last week.

Closer to Austin, the publicly funded Texas State University task force released suggestions late last week on how its main campus in San Marcos and its satellite schools could implement the new law. 

The recommendations include creating gun-free zones at several locations on campus, or “carve-outs” at various locations where the university hosts programs, including:

  • locations where students meet with counselors
  • facilities in which the university hosts daycare programs and development programs for children in pre-K through 12th grade.
  • athletic buildings used to host NCAA and UIL sporting events
  • buildings used throughout the campus for Board of Regents meetings

Still, the proposed implementation would allow students to bring handguns into classrooms. Texas State will hold three hour-long public forums on campus to discuss the law’s implementation this week. The university is also seeking public comment through an online survey on the school’s website.

The school's Board of Regents will decide on implementation this spring.

On Aug. 1, Texans with a license to carry a concealed handgun will be allowed to bring their guns onto college campuses, as long as they follow the rules created by each individual campus.

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