“The safety and well-being of our students are of utmost importance at Southwestern University. Our long-standing policy states that the possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives on campus is strictly prohibited. Private universities are given the ability to opt out of Campus Carry. As required by Senate Bill 11, our Campus Carry Task Force facilitated several campus-wide meetings with students, faculty, staff, and trustees. A unanimous decision was reached to uphold the current policy to prohibit weapons on the Southwestern campus. I have accepted this recommendation from the Campus Carry Task Force and our university will join together to honor this decision.”
- Edward Burger, Ph.D.
Southwestern University President
Campus Carry FAQ
What is the “Campus Carry” law?
On June 1, 2015 Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill No. 11 (S.B. 11), also known as the “campus carry” law. S.B. 11 amends Section 411.2031 of the Texas Government Code to allow carrying of handguns by license holders on certain college campuses beginning on August 1, 2016. Among the various provisions of Campus Carry, individuals who hold a concealed handgun license (CHL) will be allowed to carry handguns onto certain college and university campuses.
How does the law differ for public and private institutions?
The legislation provides an “opt-out” provision for private universities and colleges. The law allows public universities some discretion to regulate Campus Carry including the designation of “gun free zones.” Private institutions, such as Southwestern, have the provision to “opt out” of Campus Carry entirely.
How was the decision to opt out reached?
As required by Senate Bill 11, a Campus Carry Task Force was assembled and charged with the responsibility to advertise and lead a series of meetings and discussions concerning Campus Carry among university constituents including faculty, staff, and students. These meetings took place between October 7–23, 2015. The task force presented a recommendation to President Burger in November.
What was the recommendation from the Campus Carry Task Force?
After thoughtful and collaborative discussions facilitated by the Campus Carry Task Force, an overwhelming majority of campus constituents were in favor of upholding Southwestern’s current firearms policy. This is the recommendation that was forwarded to President Burger, which he accepted.
What is the Southwestern’s current firearms policy and where can I find it?
Southwestern’s current firearms policy can be found by following this link “Firearms, Fireworks, Ammunition, Explosives, and the like, including Toy Guns” (Student Handbook, page 38). It states: As it is on all of campus, the possession of firearms, knives with blades longer than 3.5 inches, other weapons, ammunition, explosives, or fireworks on campus, including campus housing is prohibited.
How will Southwestern campus visitors know that we have adopted an opt-out Campus Carry policy?
S.B. 11 requires appropriate signage in English and Spanish announcing Campus Carry policy at each entrance point on campus including parking lots, buildings, and public streets. As required by law, signage must include the following message:
“Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.”