Forced to Allow Guns on Campus, UT Adopts 25 New Firearm Policies
A new campus carry law in Texas is forcing universities to adapt to the new reality of people bringing guns onto campus.
License holders cannot bring handguns on “premises in which a ticketed sporting event is taking place.”
License holders cannot bring handguns to areas where Student Discipline and Conduct hearings are taking place.
License holders cannot bring handguns to areas where the discharge of the firearm “might cause great harm, such as laboratories with extremely dangerous chemicals, biological agents, or explosive agents, and areas with equipment that is incompatible with metallic objects, such as magnetic resonance imaging machines.”
License holders cannot bring handguns to animal research facilities and other animal care and animal use locations “in which protocols regulating ingress and egress create a risk that a concealed handgun will accidentally discharge, be contaminated, or be separated from a license holder.”
Staff and volunteers for campus programs for minors and their parents must agree not to carry a concealed handgun on the grounds where the program is conducted.
Handguns in university housing are forbidden with the following exceptions:
- the housing is considered University Apartments
- concealed carry is permitted in common areas like lounges, dining areas and study areas
- family members may carry concealed weapons on their person while visiting
- staff members who are required to be in university housing for business purposes can carry concealed handguns on or about their person
Otherwise, license holders must store their handguns in a private, locked motor vehicle or in a gun safe. Residents are also responsible for ensuring their guests comply with these rules
Gun safes must be large enough to fully contain all firearms, have exterior walls made of 16-guage steel, have a high-strength locking system with a mechanical, electronic or biometric combination lock (and not a key lock) and be secured in the license holder’s residence.
School staff members with offices not generally open to the public are permitted to ban guns in that office. Those people must provide oral notice of the handgun ban.
The university will revise its student conduct policy so that causing the accidental discharge of a gun is punishable.
The Division of Housing and Food Services should include in its contract that the violation of weapon carrying or storing policies is grounds for terminating the housing contract.
Because it might be impractical to instate arbitrary gun “exclusion zones” in some areas, buildings with exclusion zones should consider the following principals and factors when implementing their exclusion policies:
- The percentage of space or rooms in a building that are designated exclusion zones
- The extent to which exclusion zones are segregable from other areas of the building
- The extent to which the use of a building and the status of exclusion varies day-to-day or week-to-week
- Appropriate signage needs to be posted for areas that are excluded
- If “a significant fraction of the total building” is subject to exclusion the entire building should be excluded (again using appropriate signage)
The university should develop school-specific training materials on responding to active shooter situations. Students, faculty and staff license holders should be required to complete a
ny developed training module.
The university should develop and display in a prominent place a detailed Campus Carry FAQ
The university should develop materials to educate parents and prospective UT students about campus carry and how it is being implemented
As much as possible, gun exclusion offices should be available for faculty and staff who don’t have access to such offices.
These policies will be featured in informational postings, catalogues, in training courses or recruitment materials, online and in the school’s Handbook of Operating Procedures and Rules on Student Services and Activities.
President Fenves said the school would continue to monitor and evaluate the policies once handguns are allowed on campus in August, according to patch.com.
Read the list of policies in their original language here.