Campus Carry

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Texas’ “campus carry” law?

“Campus carry” is the common name for the law that authorizes concealed handgun license holders to carry a concealed handgun at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This authorization is subject to the institution’s reasonable rules and regulations. The law, enacted by Senate Bill 11 of the 84thLegislature, or SB 11, is codified as Section 411.2031, Texas Government Code.

Does the campus carry law allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon at UT Dallas?

No. The law does not grant a universal right to carry a concealed weapon on campus. The person must have a concealed handgun license, meaning they received the state-mandated training and met other requirements, including being at least 21 years of age and a legal Texas resident. Refer to Texas Government Code, Section 411.172 for exact eligibility requirements.

Does the new law allow for open carry at UT Dallas?

No. SB 11 allows license holders to carry concealed handguns in non-excluded locations. It is considered a criminal offense if the license holder carries a partially or wholly visible handgun, or if the person intentionally or knowingly displays the handgun in plain view of another person. The open carry law, or House Bill 910, signed by the Governor in June 2015 specifically excludes university campuses from laws that allow open carry elsewhere in Texas.

What should I do if I see a handgun or any other type of weapon on campus?

Call 2222. A handgun license holder is required to keep the handgun out of sight. If you see a person on campus with a weapon, you can help with campus safety by alerting police about suspicious activity. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

Do faculty/instructors/teaching assistants have a right to know whether anyone in class is carrying a handgun?

No. Individuals licensed to carry a concealed handgun are under no obligation to disclose their status as licensed carriers, or whether or not they are carrying a handgun at any particular time, to anyone other than an official peace officer. Under Texas law, only law enforcement can verify whether a concealed handgun license holder is carrying and has a license to carry.

What happens if someone violates the University’s campus carry policy?

A person who fails to comply with the concealed handgun rules and regulations prescribed by the University may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal from the University; and may also be in violation of Texas Penal Code Sections 46.03 and 46.035, subjecting the individual to criminal penalties.

How does campus carry change the current rules at UT Dallas?

Handgun license holders have been allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus streets and sidewalks and in parking lots for 20 years. As of Aug. 1, 2016, handgun license holders may carry a concealed handgun in campus buildings unless prohibited by institutional policy or rule. 

Does UT Dallas have rules, regulations or other policies that prohibit handgun license holders from carrying concealed handguns in certain places on campus?

Yes. Specific locations have been deemed “gun exclusion zones.” See the map for details.

How will areas be designated handgun-prohibited?

SB 11 requires that the University give notice to license holders for each building restricting the concealed carry of a handgun. One way that a notice can be provided under Texas Penal Code Section 30.06 is with a sign that:

(1) Contains this language “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by holder of license to carry a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (concealed handgun law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.”

(2) Is written in both English and Spanish;

(3) Is written with contrasting colors and with block letters at least 1 inch in height; and

(4) Is displayed in a conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public. 

What is considered an approved storage locker for a license holder residing in a University-owned apartment?

  • The location of the safe must be inside an apartment and under the control of the license holder, not in any public space.
  • The safe must be physically secured to a stationary object inside the apartment with a cable lock provided by the license holder.
  • The safe must be large enough to fully contain all firearms placed in it and provide for secure storage.
  • The safe must have exterior walls constructed of a minimum 16‐gauge steel.
  • The safe must have a high‐strength locking system consisting of a mechanical or electronic combination or biometric lock. Key locks are not allowed.

Is campus carry allowed in University offices?

Solely occupied offices can be designated as exclusion zones, prohibiting the concealed carry of a handgun in that space. If occupants choose to exercise this discretion, they must provide oral notice that concealed carry is prohibited in the office. Oral notice is the only legally effective way to provide notice about the prohibition. Written notice or the use of signage does not satisfy notification requirements.

What does “oral notice” mean?

The faculty/staff occupant of an individual office should say to each person entering the office, either:

  • “Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun,” or
  • “The carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited in this office.”

How frequently must “oral notice” be given?

A faculty/staff occupant of an individual office that chooses to designate the office as an exclusion zone is responsible for ensuring that all persons who enter the office receive oral notification that the carrying of concealed handguns is prohibited in that office. The faculty/staff occupant should determine how frequently oral notice must be given in order to ensure that all persons have received it. Faculty should be mindful that announcements made in class at the beginning of a semester may not effectively reach all students due to absences or add/drops. To err on the side of caution, it is recommended that oral notice be provided each time a person enters the office.

What is the appropriate process for giving notification that a disciplinary hearing or mediation facility is an exclusion zone?

Unlike solely occupied offices, areas used for disciplinary hearings or mediation will be designated as an exclusion zone by providing either written notification or oral notification. University officials responsible for administering these proceedings have been provided with resources and guidance to comply with the notification requirements.

Whom should I contact regarding potential exclusion zones in new labs or buildings on campus?

Email [email protected] with your suggestion.

What process did UT Dallas use to establish its institution-specific policies?

Read about the process to implement campus carry here.

Will UT Dallas train concealed handgun license holders how to respond to threats on campus?

No. The University will not provide any training to CHL holders.

Does the University or UT Dallas Police expect concealed handgun license holders to defend themselves and/or others in the event of an active shooter?

No, neither the University nor the UT Dallas Police expect a CHL holder to take action in this situation. The decision by a CHL holder to act on their own is the sole decision of that person. The only expectation of a CHL holder, as is the expectation of anyone in this situation, is that they not present themselves as a threat to a police officer and that all orders of the police officer be immediately obeyed.

Can the UT Dallas policy change?

Yes, the President of UT Dallas has the authority to identify situation-specific exclusion zones. The President also may amend the policy as necessary for campus safety. The amended policy goes into effect immediately, unless a two-thirds majority of the Board of Regents votes to overturn the policy or specific portions of it.

Where can I get more information about campus carry, concealed carry and open carry?

There is helpful information available on the internet, including at: