New gun laws for community colleges in Texas

Posted at 8:59 AM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 16:58:42-05

Changes are coming to some community colleges in the state that involve guns being allowed on college campuses.

Since House Bill 11 was passed by the state, it's now a law for public community colleges to allow students, staff, and faculty members the option to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

The new campus gun carry law took effect last year for universities and it will now be implemented for community colleges starting Aug. 1, 2017.

But officials at Central Texas College in Killeen said there will be certain areas on the campus that will be considered gun free zones. Areas where child care is provided and places where high school students partake in dual enrollment classes will be off-limits. 

Recently the school has been hosting forums for students to become educated with the new law, while allowing them to express their opinions and concerns. Many people have strong opinions about carrying concealed weapons on campus but CTC’s Deputy Chancellor Tina Ady said the school must abide by the law.

“Our job is to implement House Bill 11, so regardless of how you personally feel about it we want to make sure that we implement it properly that we have procedures in place and that everybody is aware of that,” Ady said.

The details of this specific schools policy is still being finalized. Once completed it will go before the Central Texas College Board of Trustees before it makes its way to the state.

CTC’s Police Chief Mary Wheeler said it's campus policy to train students on how to deal with dangerous situations therefore she doesn't foresee the new law causing a threat.

“We've been training and training our students and faculty and staff for years with lock down and evacuation drills. We train with the local police departments as far as this type of crisis that could happen on our campus,” Wheeler said.

Students however had a wide variety of opinions that were at two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Sophomore Nico Sutton said he is not old enough to carry a gun, therefore he feels unable to protect himself when the new policy is implemented. 

Other students said this new law will make them feel more safe on campus, because they're confident the people license to carry would be responsible with their weapons. 

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