Education News

Campus Carry 101: Where To Store A Concealed Weapon

Concealed weapons at the state’s public four-year universities is just the start. Next year it will impact Texas community colleges.

 

At the University of Houston, people with concealed handgun licenses can store their weapons inside free gun safes at the police station. The bio-metric safe is programmed to someone's fingerprint.
At the University of Houston, people with concealed handgun licenses can store their weapons inside free gun safes at the police station. The bio-metric safe is programmed to someone’s fingerprint.

Now that the state’s controversial “campus carry” law has officially started at public four-year universities across Texas, students, professors and visitors with licenses can take their concealed weapons to campus. 

Now what should people expect?

To start, campus police can’t ask anyone if they’re carrying a concealed weapon. So they don’t know for sure how many guns will be on campus.

What police can do is offer free gun storage for anyone with a license who needs to lock up their weapon. Most of campus, like the University of Houston, is open to concealed weapons. But there are restricted gun-free zones, like the day care, the football stadium and mental health clinics.

University of Houston Police Chief Ceaser Moore said that it’s a quick process to store a weapon.

“It only takes between 3 to 5 minutes for you to come, get your gun stored and leave,” Moore told reporters Monday. “So when you leave, you’ll have a card indicating that you’ve been here, and the safe is a bio-metric safe, so it’s going to be programmed to your fingerprint, so only you can open the safe.”

He added that people can also store their weapons in an appropriate gun safe in their car.

UH Police Chief Ceaser Moore, Jr.
UH Police Chief Ceaser Moore, Jr., said that the department has spent thousands of dollars on new hires, gun safes and training to prepare for the state’s campus carry law. It allows people with licenses to carry concealed weapons to be armed on public Texas universities.

Moore said UH bought 25 safes at about $200 each. They’ve also hired nine more officers.

In total, the UH Police Department has spent thousands of dollars to prepare for campus carry. State lawmakers passed it last year with no extra funding.

Since then, the law has been hotly debated. And it takes effect on the 50th anniversary of the mass shooting atop the University of Texas clock-tower, timing that lawmakers call a coincidence.

At UH, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution against campus carry.

Student Government President Shane Smith said that he wishes lawmakers listened to more students before they allowed guns on campus. One survey showed that students in Texas oppose guns on campus two to one.

“I’d prefer to never hear about it again. I’d prefer it to just kind of be there and not cause any problems,” Smith said.

Campus carry at public four-year universities is just the start. Next year it will impact Texas community colleges.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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