To be in compliance with state law that takes effect Aug. 1, Collin College has implemented new policies regarding the carrying of concealed handguns on its campuses. District officials are confident that the policies will maintain safe environments for students, faculty and staff, while respecting the rights of legally-armed individuals to carry on campus.
Under Texas Government Code, Section 411.2031, community colleges are required to allow individuals with a valid License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) to carry that firearm concealed on their campuses starting Aug. 1 of this year. Commonly known as “Campus Carry,” the law required four-year colleges and universities to allow LTC holders to carry concealed on their campuses starting Aug. 1, 2016.
Collin College’s policy, approved by the Collin College Board of Trustees on June 27, reflects recommendations from the Texas Association of School Boards and input from faculty and staff, and consideration of other colleges’ policies. Guidelines governing the concealed carrying of a handgun fall under a revised policy governing weapons of all types, CHF (LOCAL).
“Collin College and the Board of Trustees have worked diligently to ensure a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, while also respecting the rights of people who are licensed to carry a handgun,” said Collin College District President Dr. Neil Matkin. “We believe that the commonsense measures put in place by this policy are the best way to satisfy state law and maintain campuses where our students, staff, and faculty feel safe.”
LTC holders may carry a handgun wholly concealed on or about their person, or in a locked, privately owned or leased vehicle while on Collin College campuses. Those people carrying a handgun must have a valid LTC and must not be intoxicated, under the influence of illegal drugs, or taking prescription drugs that impair judgment or physical abilities.
Open carrying of a handgun on Collin College campuses is restricted to law enforcement officers licensed by a state or federal agency. Students and employees of the college, with the exception of police officers, are not allowed to ask if any person is carrying a concealed handgun or possesses an LTC. Handguns must be maintained “on or about the LTC holder’s person” and may not be stored on a Collin College campus outside of a locked, privately owned or leased vehicle.
According to the new policies, handguns are prohibited in the following locations: child care facilities; college facilities that are being used as early voting or election day polling locations; rooms where a governmental entity is meeting, if the meeting is an open meeting subject to Texas Government Code Chapter 551; high hazard laboratories and health science education facilities where materials or operations create a significant risk of catastrophic harm due to an negligent discharge; a designated meeting room at each campus in Student and Enrollment Services that can be used, as needed, for disciplinary meetings or counseling meetings; facilities where professional, high school, college sporting or other interscholastic events are in progress; and locker rooms where individuals change clothes, including those at athletic facilities and health science education facilities. The policy also allows the district to make any location or facility of the college a temporary exclusion zone, as directed or approved by the district president as necessary for campus safety. One example given was a college facility where alcohol is being served for a special event. Signage will be posted identifying locations where concealed carry is prohibited.
College serves more than 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates in a wide range of disciplines. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. In addition, the college operates the Collin Higher Education Center, which serves 3,100 additional students each year in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech and the University of North Texas.