Students do not seem to feel much different about day-to-day operations with campus carry policy in effect.
As previously written in Island Waves, in the summer of 2015, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11 into law. This law allowed licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on collegiate campuses. The law has been in effect since August 1, 2016.
“To me, personally, I have seen no difference,” said Harris Hipp, junior mechanical engineering major.
An important distinction to make is that this law does not permit open carry on campus. Additionally, concealed handgun holders are still subject to potential criminal charges for carrying a handgun in plain view.
Furthermore, concealed handguns are not permitted in places like Camden Miramar or Momentum Village because they are not owned or leased by the university. Both complexes do not allow any weapons of any kind.
Students do not seem to have noticed much difference this semester as the ruling was put into effect.
“I feel like nothing has changed,” said Kevin Russell, junior athletic training major.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi decided to adopt the law under its own restrictions and guidelines. The university primarily focused on defining two important aspects of the law: where handguns are prohibited and how licensed handguns holders can carry their handguns.
The locations where handguns are prohibited does not change much for some students.
“The school doesn’t allow carrying inside the buildings so there is not a feeling of being more safe on campus than before,” Russell said.
The campus officials collectively decided that restricted areas must be identified and justified with signage as outlined in the Texas’ Penal Code 30.06. Conversely, broad restrictions, such as near tables or all classrooms.
These restricted areas are not set in stone. They will be annually reviewed and potentially changed by the Campus Space Management Committee. Meaning the places concealed handguns are permitted could change over time.
The process of obtaining concealed handgun license is as follows: applicants must be at least 21 years of age, complete a classroom-based training, pass a written exam and pass a shooting proficiency demonstration.
Students not noticing a difference is probably for the best concerning campus carry. In theory, things may not ever feel different until an incident occurs where guns are drawn. For the sake of everyone’s safety, hopefully, the Island University never has to find out.