Starting on Aug. 1, those with a License to Carry (LTC) will be permitted to carry a concealed handgun on campus.
During the fall 2015 semester, the Campus Carry Policy Working Group developed 25 policies to tackle issues concerning handgun implementations and measures. President Fenves created the Campus Carry Implementation Task Force during the spring 2016 semester to incorporate measures concerning “how handguns must be carried and stored; where handguns must not be carried; incidental implementation measures; and proactive measures.”
The campus carry law allows UT Austin to establish “reasonable rules” concerning the regulation of concealed carry on campus. These rules do not allow the University to prevent LTC holders from bringing concealed handguns to campus.
Gerald Harkins, associate vice president of Campus Safety and Security and the chair of the task force, said their goal is to make sure the policies comply with the law and are implemented.
“The mission [of the task force] was to translate the policy statements into actions that are compliant with the law and safely implemented,” Harkins said.
The task force also aims to make sure students, faculty and staff are informed on what the new campus carry policies are. Sergio Cavazos, president of the Senate of College Councils and member of the task force, says cooperation between campus administration and the University community is crucial to the success of the new policies.
“Communication is absolutely imperative throughout this process and campus administration will be taking many steps to ensure students, faculty, and staff are all aware of the policies taking effect August 1,” Cavazos said.
The task force will inform the UT community of these new policies through campus informational manuals highlighting areas designated as gun-free zones and through online FAQ’s specific to campus carry. They will also input signs to indicate gun-free zones.
In an email sent out to students, President Fenves said safety will be the most important consideration in the implementation of campus carry.
“The safety of our campus continues to be a top priority as we strive to make UT the best possible place for learning, living and working,” Fenves said. “Through an extensive process, the university has engaged with students, faculty, staff, parents and others to develop [campus carry] policies.”