What is Texas’ “Campus Carry” law?
S.B. 11 took effect August 1, 2016, authorizing individuals licensed to carry a handgun (LTC holders) to carry a concealed handgun at a public institution of higher education except in exclusionary areas established by the institution (see a map of UTA's exclusionary areas). This law is codified as Section 411.2031, Texas Government Code.
Can The University of Texas at Arlington establish a rule or policy preventing LTC holders from bringing their handguns on campus?
No. UTA may establish "reasonable rules" regulating the carrying of concealed handguns by LTC holders, so long as those rules do not "generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting [LTC] holders from carrying concealed handguns on the campus of the institution." UTA may also adopt policies concerning the storage of handguns in residential facilities, but it must abide by the law as passed.
Can anyone carry a concealed handgun on the UT Arlington campus or on property owned or leased by UTA?
No. The law does not grant a universal right to carry a concealed handgun on campus. The law applies only to LTC holders.
What is required for a person to be eligible for a License to Carry (LTC) in Texas?
Please refer to Texas Government Code, Section 411.172 for exact eligibility requirements.
- Generally, an applicant must meet 14 distinct standards to receive an LTC in Texas. Among those are requirements that the applicant be a legal resident of Texas for six months prior to application; be at least 21 years of age (or a member of the military or veteran not dishonorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces); have no felony convictions; not be currently facing certain criminal charges; not be chemically dependent; and be capable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun.
- Applicants for an LTC in Texas must also demonstrate handgun proficiency by taking and satisfactorily completing a handgun use and safety course taught by a qualified instructor. (Exemptions from parts of this requirement exist for certain applicants, such as honorably discharged military veterans.)
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) administers the Handgun Licensing Program. Visit www.txdps.state.tx.us and click on the “Handgun Licensing” link for more information.
What will change on campus as a result of this law?
LTC holders may already carry concealed handguns on UTA’s driveways, streets, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, parking garages and other parking areas. As of August 1, 2016, Campus Carry allows an LTC holder to carry a concealed handgun into campus buildings unless expressly prohibited.
The law allows UTA to develop reasonable rules and regulations regulating the carrying of concealed handguns by LTC holders. You will see some signage on specific buildings with legal wording required by statute specifying that this building is a place in which licensed handgun carriers may not enter with a concealed weapon (i.e. exclusionary area) but in general you should not notice a change in campus activity.
What is Texas’ “Open Carry” law?
House Bill 910, which became law in Texas on January 1, 2016, authorizing LTC holders to openly carry a holstered handgun in the state of Texas. Open Carry is not allowed on the property of institutions of higher education. LTC holders must keep their handguns concealed on university property.
What resources are available for faculty, staff and students who have questions about the new law?
UTA students, faculty, and staff should visit the UTA campus carry website at uta.edu/campuscarry for details on the new law and specific UTA rules and policies.
Will UTA provide storage facilities for LTC holders to store their handguns?
No on-campus storage for handguns will be provided by UTA.
Can an employee who holds a LTC store the handgun in a university vehicle?
No. The employee is authorized by law to possess a handgun in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking lot or parking garage, or other parking area the university provides for its employees, but is prohibited by law from storing the handgun in a vehicle owned or leased by the university for the employee’s use in the course and scope of the employee’s job.
What should I do if I see a handgun or any other type of weapon on campus?
If you see someone on campus with a weapon, contact the UTA Police Department at 817-272-3003.
Can someone ask a person if they have a LTC?
In general, no. LTC holders are not required to provide information regarding their LTC, except if asked by a police officer. UTA employees should not inquire whether a person possesses a LTC, and should not under any circumstances, attempt to coerce students or employees into revealing their LTC status or pressure them to answer LTC queries. Any reporting by someone about his/her LTC status should be done voluntarily and privately. If someone is able to visibly discern a person is in possession of a weapon, this might be a violation of concealed license to carry law(s). Please immediately contact the UTA Police Department at 817-272-3003 and report the incident.
Can individual faculty or staff members post signage that prohibits handguns in their offices or classrooms?
No. These areas are not approved Campus Carry exclusionary areas.
Can a student who legally possesses a LTC be excluded from the classroom on the grounds that the student's presence and his or her concealed handgun constitute a class disruption?
No. The mere act of carrying a concealed handgun by a person with a LTC is not in and of itself a disruption of class activity.
Can a supervisor request a list of employees who have a LTC?
No. This information is not a matter of public record.
Where does a handgun need to be in order to be legally considered "concealed"? Can a handgun be in a backpack or purse, or does it need to be directly on a person's body or within reaching distance of the person?
The law does not expressly state where a handgun needs to be located in order to be considered "concealed." The handgun cannot be in plain view or discernable by ordinary observation. Further, the handgun must be on the individual licensed to carry a handgun person or in close proximity (so as to be readily accessible). Please consult the Campus Carry Training Presentation for visual depictions of concealed and not concealed handguns.
Will UTA require students, faculty and staff who have a LTC to register with the UTA Police Department?
No. UTA will not track individuals with a LTC.
How will UTA manage someone who has a handgun and is exhibiting alarming or threatening behavior?
It is a criminal act to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm, regardless of the individual's license to carry a handgun status. When a crime is committed on campus, UTA police officers will respond and take appropriate law enforcement action.
Does a police officer have the right to disarm me?
Yes. If a police officer reasonably believes a safety risk exists, he/she may disarm you. Be courteous and non-confrontational and follow the police officer's directions.