AUSTIN -- Texas’ Attorney General Ken
Paxton has clarified the right of students at junior and community colleges to
carry handguns on campus.
The decision was part of the Senate Bill 11, which takes effect August 2017.
According to a news release
from the attorney general's office, “a junior or community college may not categorically
prohibit concealed handguns from the locations you identify due to the presence
The document adds that presidents or CEOs of the colleges can
create campus rules or regulations, “provided that such rules regulations or
provisions do not generally prohibit or have the effect of generally
prohibiting license holders from carrying concealed handguns on the campus of the
Houston Community College vice chancellor Kimberly Beatty, the head of the
campus carry committee, said the school was committed to safety on campus.
recent legislation, HCC has established a campus carry committee responsible
for drafting a policy for implementation of the law,” Beatty told the
South Southeast Texas Record in an emailed statement. “HCC stands
ready to provide training and other resources to support the policy and
procedures that emerge from the committee.”
indicated the committee has followed, reviewed and discussed the topic and
law over the past year.
The school’s campus carry website clarifies the differences between the
Open Carry legislation, which came into effect at the start of 2016, and
the campus carry legislation. The major difference is that any handgun brought
onto campus must be concealed whereas the open carry law permits licensed
handgun owners to carry their handgun openly, except on to college campus or
buildings, in an public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway,
parking lot, parking garage or other parking area of the college.
Another Texas college, San Jacinto College, said they have formed a task force to tackle the
task force is working through the process and will make a recommendation to the board of trustees as to what areas of the College are recommended to be gun
free zones,” vice president of marketing and public relations Amanda Fenwick said in an
email. “We are aware of the attorney general’s opinion and feel that
there is nothing that is inconsistent with our current understanding of the
intent of the campus carry law and how it should be implemented.”
As it stands, guns are not permitted on the San Jacinto College campus but licensed
individuals have been allowed to store or transport a firearm or ammunition in
a private vehicle on campus.
Earlier this year three professors filed a lawsuit in hopes of blocking
the campus carry law. They said the law violated First, Second and 14th
Amendments and requested an injunction. However, Paxton filed a motion that would dismiss the lawsuit about a
month after it was filed by the University of Texas professors.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel denied the professors’
request for an injunction in August, ruling there was no solid evidence they
would be successful with their pending lawsuit.