Concealed Carry of Handguns on Campus (BP)

Revision note: Effective 9/1/2021 – Licensed to carry (LTC) requirement  remains in effect for institution of higher education  based on 87th Texas Legislature and SB550/HB4358 signed into law by Gov. Abbott on 6/16/2021 effective 9/1/2021.

This Policy is intended to establish guidelines and procedures for the implementation of the Texas state statute authorizing the concealed carry of handguns on the premises of South Plains College. These rules and regulations were established by the president of South Plains College in consultation with faculty, staff, and students and reviewed by the SPC Board of Regents.
This policy became effective August 1, 2017 and updated on September 1, 2021 to comply with the requirements of Texas Government Code Section 411.2031.

1. Definitions

  1. Campus – all land and buildings owned or leased by South Plains College as lessee.
  2. Premises – a building or portion of a building.
  3. Handgun license holder– an individual  licensed to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code (“Chapter 411”). An eligible individual must be at least 21 years of age and not otherwise prohibited by Texas or federal law. Chapter 411 contains some exceptions to the age requirement (e.g., ex-military personnel).
  4. Handgun carrier – an individual allowed to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code (“Chapter 411”). An eligible individual must be at least 21 years of age and not otherwise prohibited by Texas or federal law. Chapter 411 contains some exceptions to the age requirement (e.g., ex-military personnel).
  5. Concealed handgun – a handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.
  6. Exclusionary zone – any premise in which the carry of a concealed handgun is prohibited by virtue of Texas statute or these rules.
  7. Secure Storage –a locked vehicle or a locked gun safe.

2. General Provisions

  1. Subject to Texas Government Code 411.2031 and rules adopted by the College, individuals holding a valid Texas License to Carry Permit will be allowed to carry their handgun, concealed on their person, on the campus of South Plains College.
  2. Pursuant to Texas Penal Code Sections 46.03 (a-2) and 30.07, the open display of a handgun in plain view of another person on South Plains College property is never allowed except by an authorized individual such as a peace officer while in the actual discharge of his/her duty.
  3. Changes to Texas Government Code 411 by the Texas 87th Legislature permitting the carry of handguns in public places by persons not otherwise prohibited by Texas or federal law do not amend or remove the licensing or concealment requirements to the lawful carrying of a handgun in South Plains College buildings. It remains an offense under Texas Government Code 411.2031 to openly carry a firearm into a college campus building regardless of license status and to conceal a firearm in a college campus building without a valid license to carry.
  4. While South Plains College will employ all reasonable means to delineate exclusionary zones by signage in accord with Texas statutory law, it is the responsibility of the handgun license holder/carrier to know, understand, and follow these rules and applicable laws while on the campus of South Plains College.  Handgun license holders are bound by Texas and federal law and may face criminal or civil penalties for violation of those statutes.
  5. Handgun license holders are not required to disclose their license to carry status to anyone other than a law enforcement officer. South Plains College employees (other than law enforcement officers) may not, under any circumstances, require students or employees to disclose their license to carry status. The College will not maintain a list of license to carry holders. This information is not a matter of public record.
  6.  When not carried on or about a person, handguns must be in a locked personal vehicle or a locked gun safe. Guns safes must meet the following requirements: 1) be large enough to fully contain all firearms placed in it and provide for secure storage; 2) have exterior walls constructed of a minimum 16- gauge steel or equivalent; 3) have high-strength locking system consisting of a mechanical or electronic combination or biometric lock, and not a key lock; 4) be certified to/listed as meeting Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container rating standards by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).

3. Specific Exclusions to Concealed Carry of a Handgun

  1. Exclusionary zone – The College president is the only person with the authority to declare a specific premise or venue as an exclusionary zone. Therefore, except as provided herein, without the express written consent of the president, no faculty member, staff member, student, or student group may exclude a specific premise or venue as “off limits.”
  2. Exclusion by law – Texas statutes outside of Texas Government Code Section 411.2031 separately provide exclusions of certain premises or events, which provisions are hereby incorporated. Under such laws, concealed carry is prohibited from the following premises or locations:

• Where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, including SPC athletic events;
• Where any UIL sanctioned competition is being held;
• Where any Board of Regents meeting is being held;
• Where any other official governmental meeting or judicial or conduct proceeding is being conducted; and
• Where polling is being conducted for local, state, or federal elections.

       c. Additional exclusions are as follows:

    • The Natatorium

       d. Other specific premises or venues may be declared “off limits” by the College president.
           Adoption of exclusion for a premise or venue must be reasonably justified. The requestor must
           provide evidence that a concealed handgun on that particular premise or venue creates some
           special danger. Requests for exclusion must be provided in writing to the Office of the
           President at least 45 days prior to the date of the event.

       e. To assist in the process of approving exclusions, a standing committee titled the Campus Carry
           Committee will be established. The committee will be charged with reviewing requests for
           exclusions and making a recommendation to the SPC president concerning the request. The
           chair and members of this committee will be appointed by the president and will include
           representatives from faculty, staff and the Student Government Association, as well as
           representatives from the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Human Resources, and the
           South Plains College Police Department.

4. College Housing
Handgun license holders residing in SPC residence halls will be allowed to possess handguns on the premise provided that:

  1. Such possession is in compliance at all times with Texas statutory law and these rules; and
  2. The handgun license holder stores his/her handgun(s) in a College-approved gun safe (as defined in section  2f of this policy) or in a locked personal vehicle.
  3. Students who are assigned to dorm rooms where a firearm is stored and who are concerned about their wellbeing may request a transfer to another room. Please refer to the College housing contract for specific provisions concerning possession of firearms in College housing.

5. Information to the College Community
South Plains College will widely distribute these rules and regulations and offer educational information regarding these rules and safety procedures to the students, staff, and faculty through the College’s website, student and employee handbooks, and other publications.
This policy will be reviewed in August of even numbered years by the President of SPC.

Approved by Board of Regents 8/12/2021