Texas Begins First Day of Campus Carry, Here’s What You Need to Know

TxCampusCarryToday, Aug. 1, 2016, marks the beginning of campus carry in The Lone Star State!

However, the launch of the state’s new campus-carry law comes with certain strings attached.  Basically, here is what you need to know:

First off, the new law doesn’t apply to everyone.  Private schools can opt out and community colleges are also not participating for the time being.  So, for right now, it only impacts four-year public colleges and universities.

Second, you need a concealed carry permit to lawfully tote a gun on campus.  To obtain a permit, you need to be at least 21 years of age (unless active duty military) and you need to have satisfied the state licensing requirements, which includes fingerprinting, submitting an application, taking four to six hours of state-certified training, passing a written exam and paying the requisite fees.  For more information on Texas state CCW licensing, click here.

Third, open carry — despite the state’s new open carry law — will not be allowed on campus.  You must carry concealed and you must be a permit holder.

Fourth, there are exceptions to the campus carry law for those colleges and universities required to participate.  In other words, school officials at these campuses have discretion as to what areas they want to designate “gun-free zones.”

So, for example, while most dorms, classrooms, and buildings will allow one to carry concealed, there will be notable exceptions.  For example, some colleges and universities have opted to ban guns in sports arenas, chemical labs, professors’ offices, health care and childcare facilities, among other places.

Prudent permit holders should check their college or university’s website for the specific details on where guns are prohibited.

Lastly, as you’ll see in the video below, reactions to the new law are mixed.  Campus-carry purists argue that due to the gun-free exceptions that the law falls short of giving students their full right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.  On the other side of the divide, anti-gunners fear that allowing persons 21 and over to bring guns onto campus only endangers the safety of the student body, faculty and staff.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Joseph Comfort May 13, 2019, 12:33 pm

    Is Texas a “shall issue” state?

  • FEIGMO August 26, 2016, 12:23 pm

    Would anyone be surprised if a study showed that the VAST majority of protestors are out-of-state students with most being from the ‘blue states’ ???

  • Josh 'Acecool' Moser August 5, 2016, 7:18 pm

    “it’d be like target practice If someone is having a bad mental health day”… If someone is mentally ill, they shouldn’t be carrying to begin with…

    Every day is a bad day for me because of a car accident on May 7 2011 where someone ran a stop sign and hit me… Despite all the pain I am still going through, despite having bladder control issues at times, despite being paralyzed in bed for days at times, despite debilitating migraines, lack of breathing issues, severe nausea and all of the other issues that comes with nerve damage…, I still carry when I am able to walk and leave the house and have carried in the presence of the person that hit me on every occasion where legally allowed ( ie one occasion where I didn’t when we were in court over property damages )…

    Regardless, If the extremely unlikely shooter-scenario was taking place in both of our presence, I would still defend this persons life like any other because no one deserves to have their life altered or ended by someone with any type of weapon.. including vehicles.. Consider what I just wrote and also consider that this person accuses me of hitting them despite them having a stop sign and me having the right of way and through their testimony admitting that they were looking at a “Going Out of Business Sale” through their mirror… yet still claiming I am at fault…

    This is the United States of America and we all have the freedom to speak our minds, believe what we want to believe and act as we see fit so long as it doesn’t harm others or break any of the legal laws in place so this person has every right to believe that I am at fault despite the law and common sense dictating otherwise… For me to say otherwise and still consider the 1A, 2A, etc.. deity-given / human-rights would make me a hypocrite..

    • Josh 'Acecool' Moser August 5, 2016, 7:24 pm

      Moderator, please edit “lack of breathing issues” as it should read “intermittent breathing issues ie I stop breathing at times and start getting drowsy before realizing that I am no longer breathing and frequently wake up gasping for breath as I have stopped breathing”…. ie I have issues breathing at times, typically when in a vehicle where my spine is going up and down as there are nerves which are pinched and my Phrenic nerves are suspected to be pinched as there is a lot of scar-tissue present.. Phrenic nerves control autonomous control of diaphragm and heart, ie pulse and breathing…

  • bob August 5, 2016, 5:44 pm

    thanks for the clarification, Doug.
    after VT massacre, I prayed someone on my daughter’s campus was licensed to carry….preferably, several….. a person with ill intent will seek out a gun-free zone… licensed folks will have been checked, fingerprinted, trained, etc…… and I put them in a different category. There are wolves…..sheep….and sheepdogs. CHL holders are sheepdogs.

  • Kat Taylor August 5, 2016, 4:48 pm

    Well, actually, most of the irresponsible mayhem will take place at the bar, where it is instigated. Also, realizing you have a lethal weapon on your person, makes you pursue different avenues, trying to avoid any situation that might change your life so abruptly. Carrying “heat” and absorbing the training, makes you act differently, thereby avoiding many of the kinds of real deaths and/or false flags. With the required training, you are transformed into a more mature, responsible adult person on this planet.

    Those of you who have no desire or experience handling a gun, might want to change your own thinking, as more and more very real, and very more lethal situations arise from more and more open border felons come here primarily to kill and cause mayhem. If any situation does happen to you and you haven’t changed your feelings about your own God-given right to protect yourself, you better hope and pray hard, there’s someone very near you who does care about their own right to live, who will come to your aid. Because you might not get another chance to realize your own fatal mistake, and change your own reasoning to want to live.

  • Luke August 5, 2016, 9:22 am

    I think I’d try to stay clear of designated gun-free zones? Isn’t that like saying to potential bad guys & gals, “Here’s your target, there’ll be no resistance there” ?

    • Steve August 5, 2016, 2:29 pm

      Texas does not allow guns in any establishment that serves alcohol. Grocery stores bars and stadiums. I think drunken, opinionated sports fans with guns is a bad idea. But I am disappointed in the age restriction since most college students will be 18-22.

      • Doug August 5, 2016, 3:43 pm

        Steve, your statement that Texas does not allow guns in any establishment that serves alcohol is not accurate. Always good to know/check the law before posting “facts” – just for the good of every reader. Here’s what TX law says about prohibiting carrying in establishments that serve alcohol – the ol’ 51% rule:
        “On the premises of a business that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption; such premises are required to post notices under Texas GC §411.204”

        For reference, here’s the TX DPS page of FAQ’s: http://dps.texas.gov/rsd/chl/faqs/

      • Micheal Dickerson August 5, 2016, 4:24 pm

        The age restriction is not just for campuses, you have to be21 to get a LTC (Licensed to Carry) permit anywhere in the state of Texas.

        • Rouge1 August 6, 2016, 12:50 pm

          Micheal is right. Before you can get permission from your government in Texas to exercise your second amendment rights you must be 21. Then at the age of 21 you can beg for permission to exercise your inalienable right.

  • Dustin Eward August 5, 2016, 3:10 am

    So, TX Campus Carry is a “stay in the closet” minefield that essentially makes it impossible and useless to carry on campus.

    • Gingerbaker August 5, 2016, 11:12 am

      Because they are being prudent and not allowing immature-brained 18 to 20 year-olds who are likely getting shit-faced for the first time in their lives to be packing heat? Yeah – they are making it somewhat difficult – it is called being responsible. And guess what – it is likely that over time, it is still going to cause way more mayhem and suffering than not allowing guns on campus. And if and when that happens, it will be a very eloquent argument for more, not less, gun control.

      One needs to know where to pick one’s fights.

      • Rouge1 August 6, 2016, 12:53 pm

        Gingerbaker since American children before the age of 21 are such losers why does Texas let them drive? More people are killed by car than firearms?

  • Dustin Eward August 5, 2016, 3:10 am

    So, TX Campus Carry is a “stay in the closet” minefield that essentially makes it impossible and useless to carry on campus.

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