Campus Carry Part II Kicks Off at Texas Community and Junior Colleges

By Woody published on in General, Legal

The application of the state’s Campus Carry Law at community and junior colleges across Texas kicked off with a whimper—not a bang!—on Aug. 1, to no surprise of TSRA Legislative Director Alice Tripp.

Texas Law Shield Attorney Edwin Walker with TSRA Legislative Director Alice Tripp.

Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker visited with TSRA Legislative Director Alice Tripp at the Texas House of Representatives Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee hearings in Austin earlier this year. Edwin testified on a number of pending bills.

By Ralph Winingham

“This effort started in 2007, and we’ve gone through four sessions of the Legislature and 10 public hearings,” said Tripp, who works closely with legislators as a representative of the Texas State Rifle Association.

“It has required a lot of work and effort.

“Now we will focus on making sure the state colleges follow the letter of the law,” she added, noting that every regular session of the Legislature colleges must send a report about their specific rules and regulations pertaining to the law and why they created them.

She said dire predictions of problems by the anti-gun crowd have proven to be groundless, just as when the law took effect at four-year public colleges on Aug. 1, 2016.

History

“There have been firearms on campuses since 1996—in the parking lots, on the grounds, in the dorms—this just opens up carrying firearms into buildings and classrooms.

“I am sure that students have been sitting next to someone carrying a handgun into a classroom all along. They were just doing it without permission—now they have permission,” she said.

Tripp pointed out that the negative attention on the issue has been focused mainly on students carrying firearms, while the driving force behind the effort to allow licensed carry on campus has come from faculty and staff members at the institutions of higher learning.

“What the faculty and staff members have told us is that they wanted to feel safe walking to their car in the parking lot after dark or in other areas where they might face a threat,” she said.

With the backing and support of the TSRA, state Senator Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, filled SB 11, also known as the Campus Carry Law. It passed during the 2015 Legislative session.

Incidents

Tripp noted that incidents related to the implementation of the law last year at four-year public colleges have been limited to one accidental discharge where no one was injured and a couple of cases where licensed concealed-carry holders inadvertently entered restricted areas.

Campus Carry Legal Issues

On the legal side of the issue, three University of Texas at Austin professors sued the state and the university after enactment of the Campus Carry Law, claiming that the potential presence of guns in classrooms has a chilling effect on class discussion.

A federal judge rejected their claims, ruling that the professors failed to present any “concrete evidence to substantiate their fears.”

Colleges may ban or restrict firearms from certain areas of the campuses. The Legislature must review these restrictions every other year.

There was at least one demonstration opposing the implementation of the state law at community and junior colleges on Tuesday. It was a one-man protest by a San Antonio College geography instructor.

Minor Pushback

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the 60-year-old instructor conducted classes on Tuesday while wearing a Kevlar helmet and a flak jacket in his protest of the law.

Reaction on the comments page of the paper were mostly negative. One reader wrote that the instructor’s action was a “melodramatic and buffoonish spectacle in protest of the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.”

Check out these other great articles from U.S. Law Shield and click here to become a member:

The “purple paint law” became official in Texas on September 1, 1997. The law doesn’t appear to be common knowledge for every hunter in the Lone Star State, even though Texas hunting regulations describe it.

Can your employer restrict your ability to carry firearms at the workplace? Click to watch Emily Taylor, Independent Program Attorney with Walker & Byington, explain that in Texas, employers call the shots regarding workplace self-defense.

In this excerpt from a U.S. Law Shield News live report, watch Emily Taylor, independent program attorney with Walker & Byington, discuss the ground rules for carrying firearms into restaurants and bars. Click the video below to find out the significant differences between blue signs and red signs in Texas establishments, and how getting those colors crossed up could lead to some orange jumpsuit time.   If you would like to see these reports live on Facebook, click here to join the Texas Law Shield Facebook page and sign up for live notifications.

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Comments (7)

  • Jacob Frasier

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    Indeed. Here in Texas there has only been one negligent discharge since the law changed in 2016 and that, as always, was the shooters lack of proper and continual training.

    Reply

  • Jacob Frasier

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    Tripp, there is no such thing as an accidental discharge.

    Reply

  • Norm

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    Ever since Florida turned to “shall issue” CCW permits, the frightened sheep have bleated the myth of “the sky is falling.” To date, the anti gun NUTS have been sorely disappointed that law abiding CCW citizens have proven to be law abiding. Blood has not run in the streets. On campuses where qualified students are legally able to carry, no one has been shot. The fear has not resulted in the feared blood letting. Law abiding citizens are just that, law abiding, with or without their carry firearms. Shame on the sheep for giving in to to their irrational fears instead of using a modicum of intellect to see the reality of CCW.

    Reply

  • Bruce

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    The preamble of the constitution says the People ordained and established the constitution. The Second amendment says “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” American Citizenship was created in the 14th amendment. People created the government, the government created citizens. We need to reclaim the high ground as the creators of government, not the privileges granted to citizens by the government.
    To do this we need to revive the use of Common Law, Reestablish Grand Juries as stipulated in the Magna Carta, and the 5th Amendment, and abolish government paid created fake grand juries.

    Reply

  • Dragon

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    This past week, our local newspaper ran an article on the implementation of campus carry on two-year colleges. I was amused to see that the chancellor of Central Texas College made mention of gun free zones that would be in place, and in so doing he also made one of the most ridiculous statements I have heard, concerning the subject. He said that with regard to libraries, it would be up to the librarian to determine if said venue would allow firearms. In so doing he acknowledged that gun free zones serve as encouragement to potential criminals because they would not be concerned with people in those venues being able to resist an armed attack with their own firearms. Then…..he endorsed the establishment of gun free zones on campus. Here we have the classic example of the odd thought processes being foisted on our students by left-wing liberal zealots who continue to blame tools (firearm) for the crimes committed by those who carry them. Is it any wonder that many colleges and universities now have so-called “safe spaces” where students may retreat if they are offended by something somebody says?

    Reply

    • Anon E Mous

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      Think about it! A librarian choosing to work in a “legal gun free zone” with no means of protection from “illegal guns”?

      Reply

  • Sich

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    Sheep to the Slaughter!

    Reply

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