July 29, 2016
Colleagues and students,
On Monday, August 1, the state's new Campus Carry law goes into effect, and license holders will generally be allowed to carry concealed handguns at UT Austin and other public universities. UT Austin leadership has been working closely with students, faculty and staff members from across campus to implement the law as smoothly as possible.
We have heard and understand the concerns raised by many members of the campus community. We are working to address those concerns within the parameters of the law and to answer the many questions that have been raised about the new law.
I encourage you to visit the Campus Carry website, which includes the university policy and many FAQs. Should you have questions that the website does not answer, please contact us here. We will answer as soon as possible.
As we approach the implementation date of the new law, I would like to emphasize these important points:
- The open carry of handguns is not allowed on the campus. Therefore, if you ever see a gun, do not attempt to question or approach the carrier, but immediately CALL 911. Police are trained to handle this situation.
- There are several areas of campus in which the concealed carry of handguns is prohibited, including some portions of residence halls. Individuals with a license to carry are responsible for knowing the locations that exclude concealed handguns and to plan their daily activities carefully.
- License holders must carry their handguns on or about their person at all times while on campus. "About" the person means that a license holder may carry a handgun – holstered – in a backpack or handbag, but the backpack or handbag must be close enough that the license holder can grasp it without materially changing position. The holster must completely cover the trigger area and have enough tension to keep the gun in place if jostled.
- All license holders must think through the activities of their day. There may be times when the consequence of your activities may preclude carrying on a given day. For example, if you are going to a Rec Sports area, have a class that requires role playing, rolling, or spinning or contact with other students, you might expose the handgun. Remember that there is no storage on campus except in a privately owned vehicle.
- Many people on campus have strong viewpoints about the new law, and we understand those passions. However, regardless of your opinion about the legislation, you are required to follow the laws laid out by the State of Texas, and the policies of The University of Texas at Austin. We also ask that everyone show respect toward other members of the university community who have different views.
Thank you again for your cooperation as we implement the new law.
Associate Vice President, Campus Safety & Security
Chair, Campus Carry Implementation Task Force