In Texas, TCU Opts Out of Campus Carry – Others May Follow

Law Shield members should know that their duly-licensed college-age children will not be allowed to carry concealed weapons on the grounds of Texas Christian University, based in Fort Worth.

The TCU Board of Trustees voted Friday, November 13, to reject the law, which takes effect August 2016, and only applies to concealed weapon license-holders. Public universities can’t opt out, but the public entities can designate “gun free” zones on campus. Private universities can opt-out altogether.

The presidents of Rice and SMU have said their schools would also seek to restrict the exercise of campus carry on their grounds using the opt-out process.

Baylor University President Ken Starr recently said he had “little doubt” they would also opt out.

“My own view is that it is a very unwise public policy, with all due respect to those who feel strongly (and) very, very rooted in constitutional values as they see them,” Starr said. “We’re here as seats of learning, and I do not think this is helpful.”

Here’s the Nov. 13 statement from TCU’s Board of Trustees:

Texas Christian University’s Board of Trustees met today to discuss and implement strategies that further strengthen the innovations and global initiatives of the institution.

One item of discussion was Senate Bill 11, commonly known as “campus carry.” The bill amends the Government and Penal Code to allow handgun license owners to carry a concealed gun on college and university campuses. As stipulated in the legislation, private universities may choose to opt out following input from the campus community.

To insure all constituents had an opportunity to register their opinions, TCU conducted a host of debates, open forums and surveys and requested input from its governance groups to determine the community’s desired outcome regarding SB 11.

Based on this feedback, the Board of Trustees voted today to opt out of participation in SB 11. As a result of this vote, the University’s policy prohibiting guns on campus remains in effect. The University will now begin the process of defining all strategies and policies associated with this Board decision.

Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for student affairs, said, “It was quite clear that no matter which side of the issue each person felt was best, all cared deeply about the safety of the community.”