Correction: Campus carry becomes effective at two-year institutions of higher education Aug. 1. The board of trustees must submit campus carry policy and reasonings to state legislators by Sept. 1.
Police and administration want students to follow guidelines when carrying weapons on campus.
By Sasha D. Robinson
At the Staff Development Day May 24, Janae Johnson, coordinator of college risk management, and general counsel Ross Laughead discussed campus carry for the upcoming academic year at the nursing and allied health complex.
Campus carry refers to legislation passed in 2015 that becomes effective at two-year institutions of higher education Sep. 1.
The law allows individuals with a license to carry a concealed handgun on college premises.
A person must be 21 years of age, meet state and federal qualifications to own a handgun and receive Concealed Handgun License training from an instructor certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety to obtain a license.
Guns will be prohibited at Scobee Planetarium; Candler Physical Education Center; Empowerment Center; Early Childhood Studies Building; the nursing and allied health complex; testing and assessment center in Rooms 103, 112 and 113 of Fletcher Administration Center; Rooms 236C and 242 of Nail Technical Center; Rooms 339 and 354 of Chance Academic Center; and the science annex in Room 104 and Rooms 010C, 011A, 115 and Room 213 of the chemistry and geology building.
Signs will be in designated exclusion zones in English and Spanish stating: “Pursuant to Section 30.06 penal code, a person licensed under subchapter H, Chapter 411, government code may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.”
If you see a person openly carrying or displaying a firearm on campus, do not approach the person. Call the Alamo Colleges Police Department at 210-485-0911 and they will respond appropriately.
An openly displayed handgun likely reflects ignorance of the law but could also be an active shooter situation.
If a police officer believes a safety risk exists or has other probable cause, the officer may disarm a handgun carrier.
The college will not provide lockers for licensed carriers entering restricted areas, and licensed carriers are asked to put the firearm in a vehicle.
Engineering sophomore Mark Fryar has mixed feelings about campus carry.
“If something goes down, I would want to have a gun to protect myself and maybe others,” Fryar said.
“Then again, if everyone has a gun, who knows who the shooter is and it can turn into one big shoot out.”
Johanna Briones, bilingual and bicultural studies freshman, says having firearms on campus is a bad idea.
“If I am driving down the street and someone wrongfully honks at me, and I honk back, it crosses my mind that they could have anger or mental health issues and they could be carrying a gun,” Briones said.
“Something I do not want to worry about is having a disagreement with someone in a classroom and they could be carrying a gun.”
District police Chief Don Adams said to follow instructions when police are on the scene because the shooter may try to trick them.
“If you are a licensed carrier, and you should find yourself in a situation where you should use that force, remember that we are on the way,” Adams said.
Laughead said that students with felonies should not be affected by the new policy, but should talk to a parole officer about any possibility of violations.
Police will take all reports about students having weapons on campus seriously and will investigate a person who is reported to have one on campus.
For questions about campus carry, call Johnson at 210-486-0902 or visit www.armedcampuses.org/texas.