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Concealed Handgun Policy "Campus Carry"

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new “Campus Carry” law and when does it go into effect?

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature expands the areas on public universities and colleges where those with licenses may carry concealed handguns. For two year colleges, like Tyler Junior College the law becomes effective August 1, 2017.  

Could Tyler Junior College have opted out of the Campus Carry law?

No.  Only private college and universities were allowed to opt out.  Public institutions of higher education were not allowed a choice.

What does “concealed carry” mean?

Concealed carry means concealed carry.   The weapon must be carried concealed on or about the person.   Neither Senate Bill 11 nor House Bill 910 (open carry) allow for the open carry of weapons on a college or university campus.

What does concealed carry of a handgun “on or about the license holder’s person” mean?

“On or about” means either on or very close to the licensed to carry individual.  Any way to state it would be that the concealed handgun is within easy/quick reach of the person.

Who is a valid license holder under the Campus Carry law?

A valid license holder means an individual that has been issued a “License to Carry” license of a concealed handgun by the State of Texas

What is the difference between “Campus Carry” and “Open Carry”?

Senate Bill 11 authorized “campus carry” of a concealed handgun on college and university campuses by those who previously have been issued a “License to Carry” permit from the State.   Open Carry authorized by House Bill 910 allows those who have been issued a “License to Carry” permit to legally carry a holstered handgun that is visible. Again neither Campus Carry legislation nor Open Carry legislation allow for the open carrying of handguns on college campuses. 

How many people have a CHL license in Texas

As of December 31, 2014, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported that there were 825,957 active concealed handgun license holders. The population of Texas was 26.96 million in 2014; 2.7% held a CHL.

In 2013, 0.03% of CHL holders had a criminal conviction. In 2014, 0.12% of CHL holders had their license revoked.

Reports and statistics for concealed handgun licenses can be found on the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

What states have a reciprocity agreement with Texas so handgun license holders from other states can lawfully carry in Texas?

There are 42 states that have a reciprocity agreement with Texas.

New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

When in Texas, license holders from other states must follow Texas gun laws, not their home state’s gun laws.

Is a license holder allowed to openly and visibly carry a handgun on campus?

No. The license holder must carry the weapon concealed at all times.   

What responsibility does a license holder have to keep his/her weapon absolutely concealed?

A person with the License to Carry permit has full responsibility to ensure that the handgun is concealed at all times while on a college campus.

Can anybody legally carry a handgun on a Texas public university when the law takes effect?

No.  When the law becomes into effect for us in August 2017, only those individuals who have a License to Carry permit issued by the State of Texas may legally carry. See next question regarding reciprocal agreements with other States

Can out-of-state visitors carry a handgun if they have an out-of-state issued concealed license permit?

Yes and No. The State of Texas has reciprocal agreements with a number of other States regarding concealed carrying of weapons.  Yes, if the out of state permit is issued by a state with a reciprocal agreement with State of Texas.  No, if the other state does not have a reciprocal agreement with the State of Texas.    

If I see someone carrying a weapon on campus, should I call the police?

Yes. Contact campus police immediately if you observe someone with a visible handgun on campus.  

Is there anywhere on campus where guns are PROHIBITED?

Yes.  While not being allowed to declare the entire campus gun-free, we do have some discretion in the establishment of specific areas where weapons are prohibited. Senate Bill 11 allows each campus to make reasonable rules where weapon possession is restricted. There will be a notice given identifying the areas where weapons are prohibited.   

Is there a place on campus where an individual can store a handgun?


Does a supervisor have the right to prohibit staff employees and/or vendors from carrying a concealed handgun in the campus work environment?


Can I ask a student, faculty member, staff employee, or guest on campus if he or she is carrying a concealed handgun or if he or she is a license holder?

No.  Only a member of law enforcement or a magistrate is allowed to question an individual regarding whether or not they are licensed to carry.

Are faculty and staff required to notify students and/or other guests that they are carrying a concealed handgun?


Does a faculty member have the right to exclude a student from a classroom, laboratory, or private office if the student is carrying a concealed weapon?


Can a faculty member add language to a course syllabus that provides information about campus carry?

Yes.  The addition of campus carry language is highly recommended

Can a faculty member or staff member prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in their private office?


Is there an accessible list with the names of individuals on campus who are license holders?


Are students who live in University housing and/or their guests permitted to carry a concealed handgun?

Yes.  Rules will be developed by the campus carry committee along with input from Residential Life personnel to develop and include in our policy recommendations

Are visitors, while staying in on-campus housing (dormitories/residence halls) during summer session camps and conferences, permitted to carry concealed handguns into University housing?

Any policy or rules concerning Residential Operations have yet to be developed. 

If living in or visiting on-campus University housing, is handgun storage provided for a license holder?


Does a faculty member have a duty to carry a concealed handgun to protect the students in their classroom?


What should faculty and students do if an active shooter situation arises in a classroom?

Contact 911 and Campus Police immediately at 903 510-2222

May I use a concealed handgun in self-defense if there are shots being fired?

Yes.  Texas law allows for an individual to use methods of self-defense and/or defense of a third person

What procedures does the College have in place to deal with someone who has a gun and is exhibiting threatening behavior?

Campus Police are licensed peace officers who have received specialized training regarding response to situations involving armed individuals. Procedures are published and provided for each classroom and office on campus. Immediately call 911 and Campus Police at 903 510-2222.  

What safety precautions has the College taken in view of the new campus carry law?

Employees will receive specific training regarding the campus carry law prior to Fall 2017.  Information will be provided students who attend the New Student Orientation sessions and faculty will be asked to include campus carry information in their class syllabus.

Is there general notice language that has been approved for an academic department and/or unit within the College to use on its official website and in documents and literature to give notice to the public about the implementation of the new Campus Carry law?

Campus Policy and Procedures are currently being drafted.  A task force comprised of employees are now working on developing policy suggestions that will be presented to the college administration for approval. 

If I have to engage in a disciplinary action with a student, faculty, or staff member, can concealed handguns be prohibited during that meeting?

Senate Bill 11 does provide a provision that temporary exclusion zones may be enacted during the time frame when there is a formal disciplinary hearing being conducted.  This does not include the routine meeting or discussions between faculty and students that occur frequently during a semester. 

Is there a process that can be followed to designate an event as gun-free or to temporarily designate a specific area as a gun-free zone?

There will be provisions to specifically address this issue included in the campus policy

Does the College provide any training or professional development to educate faculty, staff, and students about firearm safety?

Tyler Junior College does not have any plans at this time to provide training regarding firearms safety

Does the College have any training to prepare students, faculty, and staff about how to deal with active shooter situations?

Tyler Junior College provides professional development to employees and students regarding Active Shooter response 

If I have a concern about the implementation of the Campus Carry law, or about the law itself, or a suggestion to offer, who do I tell?

Suggestions and comments may be addressed individually to any member of the working group or may be communicated by sending an email to