AUSTIN, Texas -(Ammoland.com)- The campus carry task force at Lone Star College in Houston has recommended the same legally questionable, hotly contested gun-free-offices policy adopted by Central Texas College and several universities within the UT System.
The task force has also recommended a policy that would prohibit the carrying of a concealed handgun in any location in which any person might have difficulty concealing a handgun—a broad ban intended to address a relatively narrow concern.
LSC is one of dozens of two-year colleges where Texas' campus carry law will take effect on Aug. 1.
Recommendation number five from the LSC campus carry task force states:
The occupant of an office to which that employee has been solely assigned and that is not generally open to the public should be permitted, at the employee's discretion, to prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in that office. An employee who declares their office gun-free must provide notice that the concealed carry of a handgun is prohibited. The employee must make reasonable accommodations for an alternative meeting location.
As noted in SCC's Jan. 23 press release regarding the campus carry policies approved by Central Texas College in Killeen, the problem with allowing faculty and staff to arbitrarily designate their offices as “gun-free” zones—a right not enjoyed by any other state employee, including legislators and the governor—is that it prohibits many if not most licensed faculty, staff, and graduate students from legally carrying concealed handguns on campus, because their jobs require them to occasionally enter private offices.
LSC task force recommendations number eight and nine list locations where the licensed, concealed carry of handguns would be prohibited:
Recommendation No 8
Premises of Lone Star College where clothes would be changed thus necessitating the concealed handgun be removed by the carrier shall be gun-free. A gym locker room would constitute such an area.
Recommendation No 9
Premises of Lone Star College used as specialized classroom housing programs requiring protective equipment/clothing or involving activities that make concealment problematic, such as but not limited to, auto repair or HVAC training classrooms, should be gun-free.
This means that, rather than simply requiring students, faculty, and staff to abide by the state law mandating that license to carry (LTC) holders on college campuses keep their handguns concealed, the committee recommends that licensed concealed carry be completely banned in locker rooms.
And rather than simply creating a policy stating that participants in certain activities that require protective clothing or that make concealment problematic may not carry concealed handguns while participating in those activities, the committee recommends an absolute ban on licensed concealed carry in locations where such activities take place.
Under these policies, an LTC-holding university employee whose job involves performing cleaning or maintenance duties in a locker room is required to be disarmed at work.
An LTC-holding faculty or staff member whose office is located in a fitness center in which all restrooms are located within locker rooms is required to either leave the building to use the restroom or be disarmed at work. An IT worker whose job requires him or her to sometimes work on computers in the auto repair or HVAC training classrooms must be disarmed at work.
There is no need for colleges to create such broad bans to address such narrow concerns. State law and the judgment of LTC holders are generally adequate to avoid problems in off-campus locker rooms and off-campus auto repair or HVAC repair shops; therefore, it stands to reason that state law, the judgment of LTC holders, and narrowly written school policies (i.e., policies prohibiting the carrying of concealed handguns during certain activities) should be more than adequate to avoid problems on a community college campus.
Brian Bensimon, Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry, commented, “Some of these schools act as if Texas doesn't have a twenty-one-year history of safely allowing trained, vetted, licensed adults to carry concealed handguns for personal protection. These institutions are going to keep trying to micromanage campus carry until the Legislature finally says, ‘Enough is enough.'”
- “A Refresher on the Case for Campus Carry in Texas”
- SCC’s Oct. 2, 2015 – Jan. 24, 2017, Texas press releases and op-eds
- SCC's 2015 Texas legislative handout (includes Dec. 9 – May 22, 2015, press releases and op-eds)
- All SCC statements regarding the campus carry policies proposed by UT-Austin
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 their website or Facebook.
For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, click here.