What is the current law regarding guns on San Jacinto College property?
Currently, firearms are not permitted to be carried on any San Jacinto College campus or property, openly or concealed. Specifically, a person commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm on the premises of a school or educational institution. However, licensed holders may store or transport a firearm or ammunition in a locked, private motor vehicle on a street, driveway, parking lot, parking garage or other parking area on the campus.
What does Open Carry mean?
House Bill 910, more commonly known as the Open Carry law, became law on January 1, 2016, and permits licensed handgun owners to lawfully carry their handgun in a visible waist belt or shoulder holster. They may not, however, openly carry on the premises of a community college or on a public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway or parking area of a community college.
Is Open Carry allowed on college campuses?
No. Open Carry will not apply to public colleges and universities, including San Jacinto College. It is illegal to carry on campus, including displaying a firearm in campus buildings and on campus streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and walkways. Therefore, there is no open carry on a San Jacinto College campus or property. House Bill 910, the Open Carry law, strictly states that open carry is restricted:
What does Campus Carry mean?
Senate Bill 11, more commonly known as the Campus Carry law, permits valid licensed handgun owners to lawfully carry their concealed handgun in certain areas on a university campus, excluding those areas designated as areas where handguns may not be carried, beginning in August 2016; and in certain areas on a community college campus, excluding those areas designated as areas where handguns may not be carried, beginning August 2017. While the Open Carry legislation allows licensed holders, starting January 1, 2016, to openly carry their handguns in various locations in the state of Texas, the Campus Carry legislation will allow licensed holders to carry handguns in a concealed manner on college campuses, subject to rules, regulations, or provisions set by a college regarding the carrying of concealed handguns on a campus. The Campus Carry law is not in effect for San Jacinto College until August 1, 2017, although San Jacinto College has begun planning months ahead of that date to educate and inform the College community, develop a campus carry policy, and address the safety and welfare concerns of our students and employees.
Who decides where and when I can carry a handgun on campus?
The San Jacinto College Board of Trustees will adopt a policy in early 2017.San Jacinto College will consult with its community by conducting surveys and information sessions to gather feedback and input from employees and students as to what campus locations should be recommended as gun-free areas. The policies that are adopted will be widely distributed to students, staff, and faculty including the posting of the policies on San Jacinto College’s website. Every even-numbered year, the College will submit a report to the Texas legislature describing the College’s rules, regulations and other provisions regarding concealed carry and explain the reasons for those provisions.
What is San Jacinto College doing to inform the College community about the legislation relating to Campus Carry?
San Jacinto College understands that our students and employees have differing opinions on both sides of the Campus Carry law. We appreciate the feedback received and encourage you to continue to provide feedback as it relates to the law.
During the Fall of 2015, employee information sessions were held on each campus and at the District office to inform employees about the facts of the Campus Carry law. Employees were asked to contribute questions that should be considered on a survey. Our next step will be to survey our employees and students as to what areas of the College should be recommended as gun-free areas. Based on input, we will conduct more stakeholder sessions, while monitoring how the law is implemented at universities throughout Texas. A draft of the recommended gun-free areas will be presented to the Board of Trustees in early 2017 for adoption, which will then be sent to the Texas legislature for review and approval.
What should I do if I see an individual carrying a handgun on campus?
If you see anyone carrying a firearm on campus, call the San Jacinto College Police Department immediately at ext. 5555 from a campus phone, or 281-476-9128 from a cell phone.
Until the Campus Carry law goes into effect, how will San Jacinto College manage someone who has a firearm on campus?
It is a criminal act to exhibit threatening behavior with a firearm, regardless of the individual’s handgun license status. When a crime is committed on a San Jacinto College campus or property, San Jacinto College police officers will respond and take appropriate law enforcement action. Penalties under the law for violating open carry laws may result in a Class A misdemeanor where a license holder receives notice (by oral or written communication) that openly carrying is prohibited and fails to depart the college campus.
How will I know if my classmates or students have a gun?
Texas law prohibits licensed permit holders from intentionally or knowingly displaying a handgun in plain view of another person in the buildings of an institution of higher education, or in driveways, streets, sidewalks or walkways, parking lots, parking garages or other parking areas. If you see an individual intentionally displaying a firearm on a San Jacinto College campus or property, please call the San Jacinto College Police Department immediately at ext. 5555 from a campus phone, or (281) 476-9128 from a cell phone.
Once the Campus Carry law goes into effect at San Jacinto College, how will I know where I can and cannot have my licensed concealed handgun?
Gun-free areas will be clearly marked with signs. Information on these areas and on San Jacinto College policies and procedures regarding Campus Carry will be available online at sanjac.edu/campus-carry and on the San Jacinto College policies website.
What can I do to prepare for the new laws?
Be informed! Visit the Texas Legislature Online website to read the full text from each bill. San Jacinto College employees and students are also encouraged to attend the information sessions when provided. Our implementation date of August 1, 2017 affords us the opportunity to benefit from observing the four-year colleges and universities that must comply with the law one year earlier than community colleges. It also allows us to gather feedback and comments from our employees and students to make this transition as easy as possible for our College community.
The San Jacinto College District is committed to equal opportunity for all students, employees, and applicants without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, pregnancy, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, genetic information, marital status, or veteran status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. The following College official has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the College's non-discrimination policies: Vice President of Human Resources, 4620 Fairmont Pkwy., Pasadena, TX 77504; 281-991-2659; Sandra.Ramirez@sjcd.edu