Frequently Asked Questions
What is campus carry?
Texas Senate Bill 11, also known as “campus carry,” was passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2015. It allows concealed handgun license holders to carry a concealed handgun on college campuses across the state.
When did campus carry take effect for public universities?
It takes effect Aug.1, 2016, at Texas public universities and a year later for Texas community colleges on Aug. 1, 2017. Private and independent institutions of higher education may opt out of the law entirely. As a public university, UNT Health Science Center does not have that option.
Is Texas the only state that has campus carry laws for concealed handguns on campuses of public institutions of higher education?
No. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is one of eight states, joining Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.
What’s the difference between campus carry and open carry?
Texas Senate Bill 11 – known as “campus carry” – allows concealed carry on public university campuses, including UNTHSC. Concealed carry is defined in Texas as a “concealed handgun,” the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.
Open Carry in Texas means you do not need to conceal your handgun as it is “open” for the public to see. Texas House Bill 910 — known as “open carry” — became law on Jan. 1, 2016, and makes it legal for concealed handgun license holders to carry visible handguns in the state of Texas.
Is “open carry” allowed on public university campuses?
No. Open carry does not apply to public universities, including UNTHSC. It remains illegal to open carry on campus, including displaying a firearm in campus buildings, as well as on campus streets, sidewalks and walkways. This will not change when open carry becomes law. There is no open carry on campus.
Can Texas public universities ban concealed license holders from carrying a concealed handgun under Senate Bill 11?
No. University presidents are required to establish reasonable regulatory provisions for their campuses, but cannot “generally prohibit” a license holder from carrying a concealed handgun on campus or create regulations, policies or guidelines that violate the spirit of the law.
What limitations can universities place on concealed license holders?
The campus carry legislation gave universities the ability to determine when and where carrying a concealed firearm is appropriate on their campus. Those determinations were made with feedback from the university community. Texas public higher education institutions may create “gun-free zones” on certain areas of campus, on grounds or buildings where a university-sponsored activity is being conducted, or in certain university-wide vehicles. However, those zones must not negate the spirit of the law.
At UNTHSC, CHL holders are prohibited from bringing their weapons to the following locations:
- Clinical areas of the Health Pavilion
- The on-campus daycare facility
- Locations where student disciplinary hearings are taking place
Can UNTHSC prohibit handguns on campus under campus carry?
No. The campus carry bill allows the university to establish locations where concealed carry is prohibited, but the university cannot prohibit concealed handgun license holders from carrying everywhere on campus, as that would be a violation of the law.
How do I know areas on campus where UNTHSC prohibits license holders from carrying a handgun?
Public institutions of higher education must give effective notice of a premise where license holders may not carry and post signage indicating the ban.
Can individual faculty or staff members post signage that prohibits concealed handguns in their offices or classrooms?
No. All of UNTHSC’s “gun-free zones” are designated in our policy and approved by the UNT System Board of Regents to ensure the policy adheres to the spirit of the law and does not “generally prohibit” a license holder from carrying a concealed handgun.
Who can get a concealed handgun license permit?
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 Concealed Handgun License. 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. Eligibility requirements are located on the TxDPS website.