On May 31, 2015, a bill named “Campus Carry” was passed by Texas Legislature and was later approved by House and Senate with the vote being 11-20. Governor Greg Abbott has gladly signed the bill passing it into the Texas law. The bill will take effect August 1, 2016 for four-year public universities and will take effect for community colleges in September 2017.
Private universities will have an option to opt out of the requirement, meaning that it would be up to the board of trustees of Our Lady of the Lake University if the campus carry law will take effect here.
Dan Yoxall, Vice President of Marketing and Communications has stated that “the university is still in the works of gathering the opinion of the school as [a] whole. After all is said by the students and faculty, the board of trustees will then make a final policy for the university”.
However, before the Board of Trustees can make this decision the university president, Dr. Diane Melby will gather the opinion of students, staff and faculty through survey and will then present that information to the board.
This new law will allow any people with a concealed weapons license to be able to carry their weapons across campuses and inside any building except for areas or buildings that the university deems a “gun-free zone”.
Gloria Urrabazo, Vice President for Mission and Ministry, said, “I would not feel comfortable with university having the open carry policy.” She later stated, “It would not hold up with the university’s values”. The reasoning for her statement was, as she explained, “higher education should not resolve to guns as an option and instead have more focus on conflict resolution”.
The campus carry law only applies to individuals who have a concealed weapons license. With that being said, a larger percentage of persons able to carry a weapon drops to a low percentage. In order to obtain a license the following requirements must be met: one must be at least 21 years of age, pass a background check, and enroll in a class from a certified gun instructor. If an individual does not have the concealed weapons license on a college campus, a felony charge can be ordered.
Students can voice their comments or concerns to SGA President Christopher Robinson.