BackgroundTexas Senate Bill 11 (84R Texas legislature), also known as the "Campus Carry" was passed by the Texas Legislature on June 13, 2015. Beginning August 1, 2017, any individual who holds a current and valid License To Carry (LTC), formerly Concealed Handgun License (CHL), may carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder's person where permitted on college property. Colleges may establish areas on campus where handguns will not be permitted for reasons of campus safety, subject to the approval of the Hill College President and Hill College Board of Regents. Effective notice must be given prior to entrance into gun-free areas. Appropriate rules, regulations and provisions related to carrying handguns based on the student population, safety considerations, and the specific concerns of the campus environment may be established. However, colleges may not establish provisions that generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns on campus by LTC holders.
CAMPUS CARRY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does Campus Carry mean?
Texas Senate Bill 11 (84R Texas legislature), also known as the "Campus Carry" law, allows concealed handgun license holders to carry concealed handguns on the campus of Texas Higher Education institutions. The effective date for Texas four-year public universities was August 1, 2016; however, for community colleges, such as Hill College, the effective date is August 1, 2017. Private and independent institutions of higher education have the option to opt out of the law entirely.
Are guns currently allowed on Hill College campuses/centers?
No. Until the Campus Carry law goes into effect August 1, 2017, firearms are not permitted to be carried in any Hill College building or facility regardless of whether they are carried openly or concealed or if the individual has a concealed handgun license. Hill College cannot legally restrict licensed holders from carrying a concealed firearm in public spaces such as streets, driveways, sidewalks or parking lots adjacent to the college.
What is Hill College doing to prepare for implementation of the campus carry law?
A task force was formed to gather input from Hill College constituencies, including faculty, staff and students. The task force provided input to Dr. Pam Boehm, Hill College President, regarding reasonable rules for restricted zones on campus. The rules, as approved by Dr. Boehm, went before the Hill College Board of Regents for review, possible amendment and approval. The Board of Regents approved the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on Campus Policy on May 16, 2017. The approved policy will go into effect on August 1, 2017.
How can I participate in the campus carry task force?
We appreciate the faculty, staff, students and community members who expressed a desire to volunteer and who served on the Campus Carry Task Force.
Where at Hill College will I be allowed to carry a handgun?
The Hill College Board of Regents adopted a policy regarding campus carry on May 16, 2017. Hill College will begin distributing the Carrying of Concealed Handguns on Campus policy to faculty, staff, students and the community. The policy is posted to the Hill College website below. Per state law, Hill College will submit a report to the legislature describing the College's rules, regulations and other provisions regarding concealed carry.
What should I do if I see an individual carrying a handgun on campus?
The safest course of action is to call 911 to allow law enforcement to make contact with the individual.
Are handguns the only type of firearm to which campus carry applies?
Yes. Senate Bill 11 makes it legal for licensed holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, but not rifles and other firearms.
Who can get a license to carry a concealed handgun?
In general, legal residents of the state of Texas who are at least 21 years of age, pass a criminal background check and receive classroom and shooting range instruction can receive a license to carry. Texas requires that applicants not have certain criminal convictions and histories of substance abuse or certain mental disorders. Texas also bans anyone who is delinquent on their taxes of child support payments from getting a license.
Can faculty personally establish rules disallowing individuals from carrying handguns into their offices, classrooms or laboratories?
No. District wide guidelines regarding Hill College's campus carry policies and procedures were developed and approved by Dr. Pam Boehm and the Hill College Board of Regents. All places where concealed carry is prohibited on campus are identified in the Hill College policy which was approved by the Board of Regents on May 16, 2017.
What is "open carry" law and will it allow license holders to openly carry a handgun on campus?
House Bill 910, also known as the "Open Carry" law, permits handgun license holders to openly carry a handgun with no duty to conceal it in areas where it is not prohibited by law. This law became effective on January 1, 2016. House Bill 910 states that a handgun license holder cannot carry a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless of whether it is holstered, and intentionally or knowingly display the handgun in plain view of another person on the premises (building) of a college or university, or any driveway, street, or parking area of a college or university.
CAMPUS CARRY SURVEY
Hill College administration was charged with recommending policies and procedures that, while following applicable state and federal law, also reflected the input of members of the college community, including faculty, staff, students and community members. Hill College solicited input on the Campus Carry survey, the responses to which assisted the Campus Carry Task Force in developing policies and procedures to be recommended to the President and Board of Regents.
The Campus Carry Survey was closed on February 20, 2017. We appreciate all input that was provided.
PROPOSED CAMPUS CARRY TIMELINE
CAMPUS CARRY TASK FORCE
The purpose of the Hill College Campus Carry Task Force is to review current state law in regard to concealed carry on community college campuses and make recommendations for Hill College policy. Policy recommendations should meet the expectations of state law and take into consideration students, faculty, staff and community members.
- Review and discuss Senate Bill 11 as signed by Governor Abbot.
- Review policies, procedures, practices, guidelines, etc. that were implemented by Texas universities effective August 1, 2016 for best practices.
- Review proposed and/or draft policies by Texas community colleges to be implemented August 1, 2017.
- Review Hill College Campus Carry survey results.
- Attend Hill College open forums.
- Develop draft policies that meet the expectations of Senate Bill 11.
- Submit a final draft of recommendations to the President.
Task Force Members:
- Chief Tony Cain – Department of Public Safety, City of Hillsboro
- Sgt. Roseann Cox – Department of Public Safety, City of Hillsboro and Hill College Campus Safety
- Noelle Barnes - Academic Advising and Success Center Director
- Denise Smith - Library Services Assistant
- Brad Stevens – Instructor, Speech/Program Coordinator
- Jerry Hampton – Instructor, Automotive/Program Coordinator
- Frank Williams – Physical Plant Director
- Scott Nalley – Associate Dean of Students
- Kristian Mangum - Hill County Campus, SGA
- Billy Spakes – Johnson County Campus, SGA
Task Force Meetings:
- March 10, 2017
- March 24, 2017
CAMPUS CARRY OPEN FORUMS
Hill College hosted two open forums aimed at providing faculty, staff, students and the community with information concerning Senate Bill 11. The one-hour sessions were held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, at the Hill County Campus Performing Arts Center, in Hillsboro and at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, at the Johnson County Campus Student Center in Room 400, in Cleburne.
Senate Bill 11 allows properly licensed individuals to carry a concealed firearm on campus facilities beginning Aug. 1, 2017. The open forums included a presentation on Senate Bill 11 and a question and answer period immediately following the presentation. Faculty, staff, students and community members were encouraged to attend. Additional information on Senate Bill 11 can be found on the Hill College website at http://www.hillcollege.edu/safety/CampusCarry.html.