A bill passed by the Texas
Legislature in 2015 and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott will permit
concealed handguns on Texas public university campuses.
This law is applicable only to those who have a license to carry, and the handguns must be concealed at all times.
The legislation directed each university president to establish campus-specific policies for implementing the law with consideration to the uniqueness of the campus environment.
Key provisions of the law can be found here. Certain areas on campus will be designated “gun-free zones.”
In developing the Health
Science Center policy, President William Henrich solicited input from many sources, including representatives of faculty and students from each of the schools at the Health Science Center.
The plan will be sent to the UT System Board of Regents who will approve or amend the plan before the concealed carry law is implemented on August 1, 2016.
The plan designates “gun-free zones” in the following areas:
– Medical School
– Dental School
– Nursing School
– Briscoe Library
– Basic Science Building
– Pestana Lecture Hall
– Academic Learning & Teaching Center
– Academic and Administration Building
– South Texas Research Facility
– Center for Oral Healthcare
– Cancer Therapy & Research Center
– McDermott Clinical Science Building
– Medical Arts & Research Center
– Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute
– Research Administration Building
A basic challenge regarding
implementing campus carry at the Health Science Center is that our campuses are
heterogeneous with regard to missions; i.e., there are, in most buildings,
active laboratories adjacent to clinical care areas adjacent to classrooms. In
addition, many of the buildings on campus are connected by short hallways and
corridors, and thus are not free-standing. This configuration of the buildings
adds to the complexity of implementing campus carry.
The guiding principles that
inform Dr. Henrich’s decisions regarding the implementation of this law for the Health
Science Center at San Antonio were sent in a letter, described below. The key elements of the plan are:
– We will exclude campus carry in areas analogous
to state law requirements where concealed handguns may be excluded:
– All patient-care areas, including simulation
centers which are used to educate students in the art of patient examination;
– Areas where organized programs for K-12
students are held on campus;
– Laboratories where the discharge of a handgun
might cause widespread harm such as laboratories with dangerous chemicals
including biologic or explosive agents, and animal care areas including
– We will exclude the fitness facility on the
Health Science Center’s Long Campus. This facility is not operated by the
Health Science Center, but by a third-party vendor, Gold’s Gym. This
decision followed a strong recommendation on the part of the Working Group
because it is difficult for patrons to easily conceal a handgun in workout
attire. In addition, the lockers in Gold’s Gym are not sufficiently secure for
– We will exclude from campus carry space or
buildings that are connected by hallways or corridors to other excluded areas
cited above. For example, we will exclude from campus carry areas of
contiguous space that are impossible, or significantly difficult, to cordon off
and where to do so would impede heavy foot traffic and inhibit commerce.
– For the Regional Campus Laredo (RCL), due to the
large number of minors who visit the campus during the summer months, we will
prohibit guns on campus in both RCL buildings in June, July and August. When
there are visits by minors expected at other times during the year, such as
Spring Break, the Regional Dean may elect to post signage indicating that
concealed carry is prohibited during those times.
– The Health Science Center will not provide a
weapons storage depot at campus facilities.
– Areas where concealed carry is prohibited will
be marked by signage that conforms to Section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code.
– Individuals with a concealed handgun license
must comply with all gun safety precautions while on campus. This
includes holsters covering triggers with sufficient tension on the grip to
ensure that jostling the gun in a back pack or handbag will not lead to
Four maps of separate
segments of the Health Science Center campus are provided (uthscsa.edu/campuscarry) which depict a color-coded key to places where
concealed carry is/is not permitted. This site also includes other
information about campus carry that you might find helpful.
This plan for the Health
Science Center at San Antonio has been submitted to the UT System Chancellor
and will be reviewed by the Board of Regents at its May meeting. The
Board will consider the plan and may, with a two-thirds vote, amend the plan.
President Henrich will provide updates to our community as needed. Questions not addressed may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and will
be answered promptly by the President’s Office.
For a list of frequently asked questions and answers, click here.