AUSTIN, TX – Texas law has long prohibited state employees from arbitrarily criminalizing the licensed concealed carry of handguns in their offices; however, beginning August 1 2016, employees of the state's flagship university intend to play by their own rules, regardless of what lawmakers, the attorney general, or anyone else thinks.
Every employee of the State of Texas, from the person who processed your driver's license application to the governor himself, is required to abide by Texas law regarding where licensed concealed carry is and isn't allowed.
Unless a state employee works in one of the very few locations where licensed concealed carry is statutorily prohibited, he or she cannot prohibit it in his or her office.
On this point the law is quite clear—a state employee must honor a state-issued license to carry (LTC). However, Gregory Fenves, president of the University of Texas at Austin, apparently didn't get that memo.
President Fenves believes that, unlike the 181 members of the Texas Legislature and the members of Texas' executive branch, the faculty and staff at the University of Texas at Austin should not be required to allow concealed carry in their private offices. President Fenves has decided that, despite a warning from the Texas attorney general that doing so would violate state law, he will allow faculty and staff to arbitrarily create criminally enforceable “gun-free” zones on the UT-Austin campus.
Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) has repeatedly made the case that creating a patchwork of “gun-free” offices will prohibit many if not most LTC-holding faculty and staff from carrying concealed handguns on the UT-Austin campus. Recently, SCC even pointed out that if a court of law concurs with the opinion of the Office of the Attorney General, the university's gun-free-offices policy could cost the University of Texas System millions of dollars in civil penalties. Not surprisingly, the media completely ignored SCC's points about why the policy is bad and how it could cost the university financially and focused exclusively on the fact that SCC is considering offering a cash prize to the student who contributes the most evidence to SCC's legal case against the university.
Antonia Okafor, Southwest regional director for SCC, commented, “One way or another, UT-Austin's gun-free-offices policy will not stand. It flies in the face of both the intent of Texas lawmakers and the opinion of the Texas attorney general. The only question is whether the courts or the legislature will win the race to strike it down.”
ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus. For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit WhyCampusCarry.com.