Concealed firearms will be allowed on campus in fall

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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.

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Police and administration want students to follow guidelines when carrying weapons on campus.

By Sasha D. Robinson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

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.

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3 Comments

  1. osmar jhovani paerez aguilar on

    Editor,

    I am writing due to some concerns I have regarding to your story of how concealed firearms will be allowed in community colleges effective on August 1.
    I am currently a student enrolled in the fall semester at San Antonio college. I go to school every day during the week and I have witnessed situation where two people are arguing and my concern is that if per say one individual would have a firearm he wouldn’t hesitate to pull it out if he has some anger management issues. The school should just reinforce police surveillance throughout the campus, we have a small police station near the school and have many officers patrolling the area at all times of the day. Having people carry a firearm could become a distraction to many of our students in the sense that they will not feel safe as this policy intends to do. Walking throughout the campus could be like walking through a path of wonder since you don’t know who has a weapon and you wouldn’t want to make anyone angry since they may have a weapon on them. I encourage students, faculty and family members to reach out to the board of trustees and express their concerns of allowing campus concealed carry.
    Sincerely, Osmar Jhovani Perez Aguilar,

  2. Editor,
    I am writing in response to your story on concealed firearms which will be allowed on campus in the fall.
    I know there are many concerned with the issue as it sparks much controversy. I am for the right to carry and don’t feel that law abiding students will suddenly start brandishing weapons whenever a disagreement arises. The reality is that anyone who is ready to commit aggressive actions with a firearm wouldn’t care if such behavior was legal or not. I believe the possibility of someone exercising their right to carry legally may act inappropriately, but drawing their firearm over something as trivial as an argument seems farfetched. People have the right to carry legally in public and you don’t hear about shootouts between those parties over a disagreement. The shootings you do hear about are between people that acted without any concern for laws and didn’t have a CCW in the first place. I believe we as living, breathing citizens have a right to defend ourselves and others by any means necessary. The majority of random shootings have been perpetrated by individuals that were already unhinged and had no concern for the law, consequences or their own lives. Which in my opinion, is the complete opposite of the law abiding citizens who are compliant with the laws and a have a high regard for human life. I do feel that law enforcement should be the first to respond to on campus shooters. But if it came down to events occurring in real time, I would rather have the ability to defend myself and escape before the authorities arrived. I think most people opposed react from lack of education and fear. I can honestly say, I for one am relieved.
    George Pedraza.

  3. Alexa Wagoner on

    Editor,
    I am writing in regards to your story about allowing firearms on campus this coming fall. This has been a controversial topic circulating within politics and the people for years. There has been numerous shootings in and around campuses that have caused countless deaths and injuries to the innocent. With this new law being set forth, it will actually give the students and professors a fighting chance if something were to happen on campus. It is a way to defend ourselves and feel protected. Yes, guns are dangerous and can kill people but if someone wants to go though with a shooting of the masses, they will do it regardless. At least now there will be a sense of protection and knowledge that if an incident occurred, someone in our vicinity would have the means to fight back and protect the innocent.

    Sincerely, Alexa Wagoner

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