Texas Legislature

Texas Senate Committee Gets Update From Chancellors On Campus Carry

The chancellors who testified before the committee say they plan to follow the letter and spirit of the new law, which allows students with concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons in public college buildings.

3 chancellors speaking to senate committee
University of Texas Chancellor Bill McRaven, University of North Texas Chancellor Lee Jackson, University of Houston Chancellor Rena Khator

The Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs is trying to clear up confusion about the state’s new open carry and campus carry law. The chancellors of several Texas university systems gave updates in Austin on how their campuses are preparing for the new law.

The chancellors, who testified before the committee, say they plan to follow the letter and spirit of the new law, which allows students with concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons in public college buildings. However, universities can declare some gun-free zones.

University of Houston Chancellor Renu Khator says a committee has been forming policy recommendations for the board…

“To strike the proper balance between creation of exclusion zones to ensure campus safety in complying with SB-11’s directives, that universities not establish provisions that effectively prohibit licensed holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus,” Khator says.   

One University of Texas professor says he will ban guns in his classes. University of Texas Chancellor Bill McRaven addressed how he would handle professors who don’t follow the law.

“I think, one, we have to have a discussion with the faculty members about this and make sure that we understand that we are going to follow the law,”  McRaven says. “Give us an opportunity to show that we can address their concerns in a reasonable manner, so they do not feel like it is either threatening their ability to have a robust debate or their safety.”     

Universities must have their policies in place by August when the campus carry portion of the law changes come into effect.

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