What is the campus carry law?
The campus carry law that was signed by Governor Abbott on June 13, 2015 will allow persons with a state mandated concealed handgun license (CHL) to carry a concealed handgun in certain areas on campus beginning on August 1, 2016 so long as the area has not been designated by the University as a weapons free area. A person must be at least 21 years of age, undergo training and meet other statutory requirements to obtain a CHL in the State of Texas.
S.B. 11 provides that after consulting with students, staff and faculty regarding “the nature of the student population, specific safety considerations and the uniqueness of the campus environment” the university may enact reasonable rules and regulations regarding:
- carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on campus; and
- storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities
The law stipulates, however, that these rules and regulations may not either “generally prohibit” or “have the effect of generally prohibiting” license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus.
TSU's Campus Carry Policy
Texas Southern University has finalized its Campus Carry Policy. The policy, which goes into effect August 1, 2106, was established in compliance with Senate Bill 11 (Campus Carry) passed by the 84th Texas Legislature. In accordance with Senate Bill 11, only persons age 21 or order with a concealed handgun permit recognized by the state of Texas are allowed to carry their concealed handgun on campus.
GUN Free Zones
A committee led by the Office of General Counsel and TSU Public Safety, and also comprised of Texas Southern University faculty, staff and students was charged with the task of gathering public input and developing which areas of campus would be designated as gun-free zones. Those zones are as follows:
- All residence halls
- Earnest S. Sterling Life Student Center
- E.O. Bell Building (basement only)
- Student Health Center
- University Counseling Center
- Airway Science Building
- W.R. Banks Child Development Laboratory
- Alee Mitchell Center
- Central Plant, rooms 125 and 126
- General Services Building
- Science Building, second, third and fourth floors
- Gray Hall Pharmacy Building, rooms 120, 253A, 256, 229, 214, 216, 222, and 207
- Leonard H.O. Spearman Technology Building, rooms 138 and 235
- Samuel Nabrit Science Building, second and third floors
TSU’s policy contains fluid zones that will change based on events that may be scheduled. In addition, TSU designated staff and faculty offices as discretionary zones, which means an officeholder may elect to have his or her office marked as a gun free zone.
Individuals who hold a concealed weapons permit recognized by the State of Texas are eligible to carry a concealed handgun on campus. License holders must be 21 or older and must clear eligibility requirements related to criminal background, mental health history, and substance abuse issues.
Faculty and staff who are solely assigned to a private office are permitted to prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in that office. If faculty or staff members choose to exercise this discretion, they must provide oral notice that the concealed carry of a handgun is prohibited in their offices. Oral notice is sufficient notice under the Texas Penal Code, Section 30.06. However, if a faculty or staff member would like to post a sign, he or she must obtain authorization from the Dean or Department Head, confirming that the sign meets the specification required by Section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code for posting signs. The Dean or Department Head must confirm in writing that the sign contains the following: “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun”; and
(i) includes the language described [above] in both English and Spanish;
(ii) appears in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height; and
(iii) is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.
Please note that non-conforming signs are neither legally enforceable under the laws of Texas nor the policy
and procedure of Texas Southern University.
The TSU Department of Public Safety (DPS) will place the order for authorized signage. If your department would like to order signage, please contact DPS. Each department/school at Texas Southern University must separately bear the expense for the purchase of signs for offices.
Last year the Texas Legislature passed two laws regarding the carrying of guns that have been the topic of much discussion on campus and in the media. The new laws regulate Concealed (Campus) Carry and Open Carry of handguns.
Open Carry: Handguns (effective January 1, 2016)
House Bill 910, the Open Carry law, allows people with concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) to openly carry a holstered handgun in Texas. However, this law expressly excludes institutions of higher education. This means open carry of handguns anywhere on campus is a violation of state law and is not permitted.
Concealed (Campus) Carry: Handguns (effective August 1, 2016)
President Gregory L. Fenves formed the Campus Carry Working Group to address the second new gun law — Senate Bill 11, which regulates Concealed Carry. This law allows CHL holders to carry a concealed handgun on public university campuses. The working group’s recommendations on implementing the law on campus can be found on the Campus Carry website. The president is reviewing those recommendations in order to develop campus-wide rules.
The law does not expressly state where a weapon needs to be in order to be considered “concealed.” The weapon cannot be in plain view or discernible by ordinary observation. Further, the weapon must be on the license holder’s person or in close proximity (as to be readily accessible). This includes backpacks, purses, belt and shoulder holsters, fanny packs, briefcases, and bags.
What is the process for requesting a sign for a fluid or temporary zone area where a special event is held?
If your department is having a special event and you seek to prohibit the carrying of a concealed handgun for this event, please contact the Director of Special Events, Shannon Broussard at 713-313-7759. Shannon will initiate the process with DPS to obtain authorization to prohibit campus carry during the event and obtain the signage.
For further questions regarding Texas Southern University’s process for prohibiting concealed carry in offices please contact the Department of Public Safety at 713-313-7001 or the Office of General Counsel at 713-313-7893.
If you see a visible handgun on campus, contact the TSU Police Department at 713-313-7000.
Emergencies should be reported to the Police Department by calling 713-313-7000. TSU prohibits the visible display of handguns. Contact the TSU Police Department if you have a concern.
Yes. When a police officer stops you to ask for your concealed handgun license, you are temporarily detained until you can produce it. After successfully doing so, the encounter becomes a casual encounter unless the officer had another reason for stopping you.
Signage meeting the standards specified in Section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code will be used to designate areas where concealed carry of a handgun by a license holder will be prohibited.
Even in a vehicle, a legally possessed handgun must be reasonably concealed (e.g., in the glove compartment, under a seat, in a case etc.).
Yes you can, but only in the areas that are open to the public. So if that person has to go to a portion of the building where a normal citizen would not be allowed, they are not allowed to carry a handgun. If you are in this position where you are not sure if you can carry or not, it is recommended that you leave your handgun in your vehicle.
Since an open carried weapon must either be carried in a shoulder holster or a belt holster, will there be a set standard that constitutes what is considered a shoulder or belt holster?
Currently there is no standard that constitutes what is a shoulder or belt holster.
As a parent, I am concerned with my kids being around people open carrying a handgun. What do I tell my kids to do when they see someone with a pistol on their hip?
Again, it is situational. If your kids see someone in a grocery store shopping, they should not be alarmed if that person is carrying a handgun. But if they are at school, and they see a person (who is not a Police officer) carrying a gun, they should immediately TSU Police Department at 713-313-7000 and/or call 911.