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Campus Carry FAQs

  • About Campus Carry
  • Concealed Carry vs. Open Carry
  • UNT Policy
  • License to Carry Permits

About Campus Carry

Q. What is campus carry?
A. “Campus carry” refers to Texas Senate Bill 11, which allows individuals who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun to carry the concealed weapon on university campuses in Texas.

Q. When will campus carry take effect for public universities?
A. It takes effect Aug.1, 2016 at public universities and a year later for community colleges. Private and independent institutions of higher education have the option to opt out of the law entirely. As a public university, UNT does not have that option.

Q. Does the law allow public universities to create policies regarding campus carry?
A. Yes. The law allows universities to adopt policies that prohibit license holders from carrying concealed handguns in some areas of the campus and to certain university-sponsored events providing the restrictions do not have the effect of generally preventing a license holder from carrying a concealed handgun on campus. President Smatresk and UNT's Campus Carry Task Force gathered feedback from students, faculty and staff in a series of town hall meetings and email feedback. This led to the creation of UNT’s policy, which can be found here.

Q. What process did UNT use in creating its campus carry policy?
A. President Smatresk and UNT's Campus Carry Task Force gathered feedback from students, faculty and staff in a series of town hall meetings and email feedback. The university considered the nature of its student population, the uniqueness of the UNT campus environment, and specific safety considerations to identify locations and activities where concealed handguns are not permitted in creating its policy, which can be found here.

Q. Is Texas the only state that has campus carry laws for concealed handguns on campuses of public institutions of higher education?
A. No. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is one of eight states, joining Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.

Concealed Carry vs. Open Carry

Q. Is there a difference between concealed carry and open carry?
A. Yes. A person must receive a license from the Texas Department of Public Safety in order to lawfully carry a concealed handgun. The handgun must be carried on or about the license holder’s body at all times and the handgun cannot be openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person. Texas Senate Bill 11 — known as "campus carry" — allows license holders to carry concealed handguns on public university campuses, including UNT.

A person also needs a license to carry (LTC) from the state to openly carry a handgun in Texas, however, open carry is prohibited on the campuses of all Texas public universities, including UNT.  Open carry means the individual does not have to conceal the handgun from view as it is "open" for the public to see. Texas House Bill 910 — known as "open carry" — became law on Jan. 1, 2016.  

Q. Is "open carry" allowed on public university campuses?
A. No type of firearm can be carried openly on a university campus except by law enforcement officers.  Even individuals who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun must keep the weapon out of view when carrying the handgun on campus, including buildings, public driveways, streets, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, and parking garages or other parking areas on campus.

UNT Policy

Q. Where will concealed handguns be allowed at UNT under the new campus carry law?
A. As outlined in the UNT Campus Carry Policy, a license holder may carry a concealed handgun while on the campus premises, which includes university buildings and public driveways, streets, sidewalks or walkways, parking lots, parking garages and other parking areas on campus. Concealed handguns also can be carried in university passenger transportation vehicles unless prohibited by state or federal law or by the UNT policy. License holders are responsible for knowing where concealed handguns may not be carried even where notice is not required to be posted.

Q. Where will concealed handguns be prohibited at UNT under the new campus carry law?
A. Section IV of the UNT Campus Carry Policy lists areas and events where concealed handguns may not be carried on campus either by state law or UNT policy. These areas include: places where a intercollegiate or high school sporting event is taking place; places of religious worship; in laboratories where biological hazards are present; locations where medical, health or clinical services are provided; locations where services to minors are provided, specifically the Child and Family Resource Center, Child Development Lab, Kristin Farmer Autism Center and McConnell Hall; areas where large-scale events are taking place, specifically the ballrooms and Lyceum in the University Union, ballroom in the Gateway Center, Coliseum, Main Auditorium, Murchison Performing Arts Center, University Theatre and Voertman Concert Hall; as well as at other locations or events.
 

Q. Can UNT ban all handguns on campus?
A. No. The campus carry bill allows the university to establish certain locations and events where concealed handguns are prohibited. But the university cannot prohibit license holders from carrying everywhere on campus, as that would be a violation of the law. As a reminder, open carry is illegal on all university campuses, including UNT’s.

Q. How will I know areas on campus where concealed handguns are not allowed?
A. Universities must post a sign at all places and events where there policies prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns. However, state law does not require universities to post signs at places and activities where concealed handguns are prohibited by laws other than UNT policy, such as a places of worship and where a university building is used as a polling place for a state or federal election.  License holders are responsible for knowing where state and federal law prohibit them from carrying a concealed handgun. 

Q. Are handguns the only type of firearm to which campus carry applies?
A. Yes. Senate Bill 11 makes it legal for licensed holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, but not rifles and other weapons. Those items remain prohibited at UNT.
 

Q. Can individual faculty or staff members post signage that prohibits concealed handguns in their offices or classrooms?
A. No. All places where concealed handguns are prohibited on campus are outlined in the UNT policy.

License to Carry Permits

Q. Who can get a permit to carry a concealed handgun?
A. In general, legal residents of the state of Texas who are at least age 21, pass a criminal background check and receive classroom and shooting range instruction can receive a license to carry. Texas also requires that applicants not have certain criminal convictions and histories of substance abuse or certain mental health disorders. Texas also bans anyone who is delinquent on their taxes or child support payments from getting a license.  

Q. Where can I find more information?
A. The state of Texas has several websites that may provide additional information. The License to Carry a Handgun website includes information on the licensing laws and statutes and an overview of what is needed to obtain a license. The Texas Department of Public Safety website has several pages of information on handgun licensing, laws and regulations, reports and statistics and more.