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Michael Heidingsfield, Director of Police, met with the Ambassadors on November 11th to discuss the changes to the concealed handgun laws and how these changes will affect The University of Texas System Administration and institutions.
If you want to know more about these changes, contact your Change Ambassador.
Recent Legislation Changes Impacting the Carrying of Handguns
Two bills related to the carrying of handguns passed in the last legislative session:
House Bill 910 – (Open Carry) relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun. Effective January 1, 2016. This law extends the rights of concealed handgun license holders to allow them to openly carry a holstered handgun. Currently, Texans who want to carry a handgun in public must have a concealed handgun license and are required to keep the gun concealed and not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.
- Authorizes individuals to obtain a license to openly carry a handgun in the same places that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun with the exception of institutions of higher education or private or independent institutions of higher education.
- Unconcealed handguns, loaded or unloaded, must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster.
- Individuals who hold a valid CHL may continue to carry with valid existing license.
Senate Bill 11 – (Campus Carry) relating to the carrying of handguns on the campuses of and certain other locations associated with institutions of higher education. Currently, a CHL holder can carry a concealed handgun on a street or driveway located on the campus of the institution or in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area located on the campus of the institution, but not inside buildings.
- Authorizes a license holder to carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder's person while the license holder is on the campus of a public, private or independent institution of higher education. Open carrying of handguns is still prohibited at these locations.
- Authorizes a public, private or independent institution of higher education to establish rules, regulation, other provisions concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities that are owned or leased and operated by the institution and located on the campus of the institution.
- Requires the president or other chief executive officer to establish reasonable rules, regulations, or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on the campus or on specific premises located on the campus.
- Authorizes posting of a sign under Penal Code Section 30.06 with respect to any portion of a premises on which license holders may not carry.
Each university may enact reasonable rules and regulations regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on campus; and the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities, but they must be sensitive to legislative intent.
The law stipulates that these rules and regulations may not either "generally prohibit" or "have the effect of generally prohibiting" license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus. The presidents on each campus have the ability to promulgate rules approved by the Board of Regents and must file a report every other year to the legislature that describes its rules, regulations, or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns on the campus and explains the reasons the institution has established those provisions.