What is the difference between “Open Carry” and “Campus Carry”?
The “Open Carry” legislation provides that holders of a handgun license may now carry their handgun visibly in a waist belt holster or a shoulder holster but they may not openly carry on or in a college campus or building and they may not openly carry on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage or other parking area of the college.
Prior to changes made in the 84th Legislature (2015) individuals, with certain exceptions, such as law enforcement personnel, were prohibited from carrying handguns inside any college building, even if the individual held a concealed handgun license. Texas Senate Bill 11 –known as “Campus Carry”- will permit handgun license holders to carry a concealed handgun on TSC campuses and into many TSC buildings. While the “Open Carry” legislation allows license holders, starting January 01, 2016, to openly carry their handguns in various locations in the State of Texas, the “Campus Carry” legislation only broadens the right for license holders to carry handguns in a concealed manner on college campuses. The Campus Carry law is not in effect for TSC until August 1, 2017 although TSC will be planning months ahead of that date to educate and inform the campus community, develop a campus carry policy, and address the safety and welfare concerns of our constituents.
What is TSC doing to inform the college community about legislation relating to Open Carry and Campus Carry?
The President has commissioned a committee representative of the college community and student body to assist in providing input to develop training and education about Open Carry as well as recommendations for policy relating to complying with Campus Carry. Between now and August 1, 2017, the effective date of Campus Carry, TSC is exploring specific rules, regulations and procedures related to campus carry to develop policies that could include items such as identifying potential gun-free zones, creating appropriate signage, determining if and where lock-boxes or storage units should be installed, and conducting community education and awareness programs.
What should I do if I see a handgun on campus and feel threatened?
If you see a visible handgun on campus, contact the campus security immediately at 956.295.3700.
What should I do if I see a classmate with a gun?
The law and TSC prohibit the visible display of handguns, and license holders should know that handguns they carry on campus, even if concealed, are currently prohibited. Contact campus security at 956.295.3700 if you have a concern.
How will TSC manage someone who has a firearm and is exhibiting threatening behavior?
It is a criminal act to exhibit threatening behavior with a firearm, regardless of the individual’s handgun license status. When a crime is committed on campus, campus security officers will respond and take appropriate law enforcement action. Penalties under the law for violating open carry laws may result in a Class A misdemeanor where a license holder receives notice (by oral or written communication) that openly carrying is prohibited and fails to depart the college campus.
For any questions, comments, or concerns, please email [email protected]