Campus Carry meets community colleges

HARLINGEN — The law known as Campus Carry is making its way to community colleges, like TSTC.

The law allows those with a concealed handgun license to carry a firearm on a collegiate campus.

Campus Carry or SB 11 was passed in 2015 and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

It went into effect on January 1, 2016.

The law initially targeted four-year universities with private universities being able to opt out.

Yesterday, SB 11 expanded to include community colleges.

However, Texas State Technical College was ahead of the game.

Exactly one year ago yesterday, the campus that caters to more than 8,000 students, implemented Campus Carry allowing concealed handguns on campus.

Welding student Jocelyn San Luis said she didn’t know about the law and if she did, she really didn’t notice anything different on campus.

“I didn’t see anything,” San Luis said.

If she did, it would have been considered a crime.

Campus Carry does not allow for licensed gun holders to openly carry their weapons.

Those who carry a partially, or completely, visible handgun would be in violation.

This violation would be considered a Class A Misdemeanor.

While the law allows for guns on campus, there are restrictions.

According to a statewide operating standard, there are certain areas where concealed handguns are not allowed.

Locations known as Designated Gun Exclusion Zones include the TSTC Police Department, Emergency Responder offices and the student medical care and counseling locations affiliated with hospitals.

In addition, any areas in use for minor education programs or buildings conducting activities for those ages kindergarten to 12 are exempt.