As many of you are already undoubtedly aware, the Texas state legislation commonly known as “Campus Carry” took effect at all public, state-funded 4-year colleges and universities in Texas on August 1st, 2016. Now, one year later, the law (SB_11 from the 84th state legislative session in 2015) is expanding to all Texas community colleges, including TCC, effective on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017.
Opinions on the new law are as diverse and varied as our student population… Feedback from survey data has shown a broad range of responses from the public, as well as students, faculty, and staff from the many public colleges in our state. Many proponents of “Campus Carry” support it in favor of the individual’s right to defend themselves no matter where they are, while others claim that weapons have no place in the learning environment.
In the months surrounding the bill’s enactment last year, the University of Texas at Austin was the site of several well-publicized protests by students who were opposed to the bill, as well as a faculty lawsuit, appealing directly to the court system, on the basis that the law was unconstitutionally “barring free speech” in the classroom environment.
Nearly a dozen states in our country have active “Campus Carry” legislation, and others are considering bills this year. Luckily, the reports all show that – after a full year since it was enacted – there have been no “Campus Carry” related incidents reported anywhere in the State of Texas.
Tarrant County College officials have spent months developing our new policies to address the question of “Campus Carry.” For anyone wanting to know more, the college website has all the official regulations spelled out. There is also a helpful FAQ page, provided by the TCC Police Dept. Some of the highlights are:
- Anyone carrying a weapon on campus must be at least 21 years old, and must have a legal License to Carry (LTC) permit.
- An LTC holder who is carrying a weapon on campus must keep it concealed at all times. Visible weapons (“open carry”) are not allowed.
- TCC does not currently provide LTC training, and there are no gun lockers or secure storage spaces provided on any campus.
- Anyone is permitted to ask if you are carrying a weapon… but a LTC holder is not required to answer, unless asked by a Police officer.
- There are “Gun Free Zones” on each campus, where weapons are strictly prohibited. Online campus maps show where these areas are located.
- On Northeast Campus, “Gun Free Zones” include (but are not limited to) the Testing Center, Counseling Dept., NHPE / Gym, and the Child Care Center. For a more complete list, click HERE.
If you are interested in learning more on the history, implementation, protests, etc., surrounding “Campus Carry,” visit our databases at the Library’s website: library.tccd.edu. They are available to you anywhere, 24 hours a day, just by logging in with your current student credentials (WebAdvisor ID & password). For further assistance, Ask A Librarian and we’ll be glad to help you find what you need.
Enjoy the rest of your summer break, and we’ll see you in the library this fall!
In NE Library, News, Student Services, TCC