Austin Community College has adopted new rules for implementing the state’s campus carry law, which goes into effect for community colleges August 1.
The comprehensive policy, based on recommendations by the college’s Campus Carry Task Force, defines who the law covers, how it will be administered, and penalties for violations. The policy was approved by President/CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes and presented to ACC’s Board of Trustees at their June 19 work session.
“While ACC opposed legislation allowing guns on campus, we value the opportunity to have some control over how the law is applied,” Rhodes said. “We appreciate the work of the task force to propose guidelines that conform to the law but help our students and employees feel safe in their surroundings.”
The policy defines rules for open carry and concealed carry. Open carry (carrying a gun openly in a holster) is prohibited on all ACC campuses, including parking lots, driveways, and walkways. Texas Senate Bill 11 allows licensed gun owners to carry a concealed handgun on public college campuses.
The Campus Carry policy is summarized below. View the full policy on ACC’s Campus Carry website.
View the full policy on ACC’s Campus Carry website.
Who is affected
All individuals who work, attend classes, conduct business, or visit any campus, including employees, faculty, trainees, students, outpatients, visitors, volunteers, contractors, commercial tenants, or vendors. This policy does not apply to peace officers and others who are carrying a weapon in the course of official duties.
What is allowed
Unless otherwise prohibited by law or this policy, a License to Carry (LTC) holder may carry a concealed handgun on an ACC campus (including public driveways, streets, sidewalks, and parking areas). LTC holders may not carry their concealed handgun in exclusion zones designated by ACC’s president. View LTC requirements.
An LTC holder may not carry a partially visible handgun or knowingly or recklessly display a handgun in view of another person (even if holstered).
Employees who are licensed gun holders may carry a concealed handgun in their work areas unless prohibited, but are not authorized by the college to use the gun in the course and scope of performing their duties. ACC will not provide handgun storage lockers for licensed holders.
Between 140 and 150 designated gun-free zones have been identified and will marked with signs. They are:
- Any location where pre-K-12 school-sponsored activities are held.
- Any polling place located on any campus from early voting through Election Day.
- Any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court used by federal , state, or local judge for official business
- A business operated by ACC or operating on an ACC campus that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69 or 74, of the Alcoholic Beverage Code, and derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code, shall prominently display the required signage at each entrance of the business premises.
- Any high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event while taking place, unless the LTC holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event. Notice should be given for all collegiate sporting events.
- For ticketed sporting events, notice should be given as means of written communication on the back of, or appended to, the ticket. Vendors and others who are permitted to enter the premises without a ticket should provide written notice through other means.
- All testing centers.
- Meetings of the Board of Trustees.
- Any outpatient care areas, including those in which professional mental health services and licensed counseling are provided. These will include areas where medical records are maintained.
- Designated areas where meetings and formal hearings are conducted for student issues, discipline, and conduct as well as the termination, discipline, dismissal, or grievance of an employee or faculty member.
- Any labs or storage rooms with extremely dangerous chemicals, biologic agents, or explosive agents, and areas with equipment that is incompatible with metallic objects, such as magnetic resonance imaging machines.
- Any buildings or grounds where counselors, staff, and volunteers work in a campus program for minors such as the ACC Child Lab School.
ACC’s president is authorized to designate additional exclusion zones. Faculty, staff, and students are prohibited from designating exclusion zones without the president’s written consent.
The new policy states that while ACC will employ reasonable means to delineate exclusion zones, LTC holders are responsible for understanding concealed carry rules. The college plans to produce a short video and other materials to inform students of the policy at the beginning of each semester.Back to Top