Finding: The Frank Erwin Center has been an integral part of the university and greater Austin area athletic and entertainment community for almost forty years.
During that time, it has hosted millions of people at thousands of events. Most of these events are produced by promoters, companies, performers, and others contracting for the use of the Center for a ticketed event.
The Center hosts many events at which the introduction of firearms, including concealed handguns carried by a license holder, would raise safety and security concerns. In events where there are thousands of ticket- holders densely located in an arena-style configuration with high levels of excitement, low-lighting, loud sounds which at times may include pyrotechnics, and often the consumption of alcoholic beverages, the presence of firearms, including those held by license holders, may jeopardize safety. Because of these complex crowd issues in this very unique environment at the Center, restricting the carrying of weapons for performances will address specific safety concerns.
State law similarly recognizes these complex issues and prohibits the carrying of handguns, even by a license holder, at high school, collegiate, and professional sporting events.
Furthermore, because this restriction will satisfy safety and security conditions required by parties seeking to use the Center, the continued use for many events that are integral to the university community will be further assured. This policy therefore will further preserve the uniqueness of the campus environment. This policy does not have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus. The adoption of this policy is within the authority granted to university presidents.
Implementation Strategy and Criteria: The campus will work with the Center to develop the area to which this policy applies and will ensure that the areas where weapons are prohibited are limited to those areas within the Center where persons are screened prior to proceeding into the Center, and those areas secured and controlled by the UT Police Department or other law enforcement agencies designated for securing the Center. Other security measures will be employed to detect and prevent the introduction of any firearm into secured areas of the Center. The campus will include information and notice in the appropriate informational materials and websites.