The Campus Carry law that opened four year colleges and universities to legally carried handguns last year expands today to community colleges, and officials at the Alamo Colleges system have been planning for it for months, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Generally, Alamo Colleges General Counsel Ross Loughead says concealed handguns carried by individuals with a gun license will be allowed in classrooms, teachers offices, and common areas.
He says the places where guns will be banned will be very limited.
"We are doing it in athletic facilities for both participants and spectators," he said. "We do it at places where we do mental health counseling, we do it if there is going to be a student or employee discipline hearing."
He says guns will also be banned in day care centers, and in some technical laboratories where the materials used could pose a hazard, like acetylene.
Unlike the University of Texas System, Loughead says Alamo Colleges will not allow teachers to ban guns in thier classrooms. He says his reading of Attorney General Paxton's opinion on the law does not allow employees to make those decisions
."Generally speaking, it is allowed," he said. "If it is not allowed, there will be a posted sign they will be able to see. There are not many areas like that."
Community Colleges are different than four year universities because at a community college, there is a far greater chance that 16 and 17 year old high school students, who are currently protected from interaction with handgun holders, will be in the classroom.
Loughead says if an Independent School District leases an Alamo Colleges classroom or building for a technical or vocational class, that ISD will be able to ban guns in that room, in accordance with statewide policies banning guns in high schools. But he says if underage kids are simply attending a class, guns will not be restricted in that classroom.
"They are coming to college, that is what they want," he said. "The Legislsture has decided they want to have licensed concealed carry in colleges, so that's what happens."
He says officials don't expect any problems. There have been no significant incidents at four year colleges since the law took effect a year ago, despite the predictions of some that grade disputes or classroom discussions would end with gunfire.
"We're talling people, if there's a problem, if they see something that is wrong, don't create a confrontation, call the campus police, they have been well trained on how to handle things like this."