Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) of the 84th Texas Legislature permits individuals holding concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons onto the campus and into the general buildings of the public and private institutions of higher education in Texas, unless a private institution has established rules, regulations, or other provisions prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns on the campus. Note: Any reference to a handgun license in the following discussion refers to a valid State of Texas handgun license. Updated: 09/01/21 – House Bill 1927, the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, maintains prohibitions against carrying a weapon on certain premises, including college campuses, which is reserved as a privilege only of license holders.
Amberton University’s Position
Amberton University’s enrollment is limited to the mature, working adult seeking to finish a bachelor’s degree or to begin or complete graduate studies. Students complete their degrees by taking online courses or a combination of online and on-campus courses at the main campus in Garland or the Frisco Center. Amberton has no campus housing, no sporting events, no social clubs, and no dining facilities. The consumption of alcohol is prohibited on campus as is the use of illegal drugs. Considering the unique nature of the Amberton student and the campus environment, Amberton University will comply with Senate Bill 11 allowing individuals with valid handgun licenses to carry their concealed handguns onto the Amberton campuses and premises.
How Does S.B. 11 Change The Law?
Prior to August 1, 2016, Texas law allowed individuals with a license to carry (LTC) to bring their handgun to the parking lot of a public or private institution of higher education and to keep it securely locked in a vehicle. Prior to August 1, 2016, Texas law also allowed public and private institutions to prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns on the campus of the institution.
S.B. 11 Makes Numerous Changes to Current Law, Including But Not Limited To:
- S.B. 11 gives public universities some discretion to regulate campus carry by establishing reasonable rules and regulations, although the provisions may not generally prohibit license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus.
- S.B. 11 provides a private institution of higher education additional discretion. A private institution may, after consulting with students, staff, and faculty of the institution, establish rules, regulations, or other provisions prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns on the campus of the institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle owned by the institution. [S.B. 11, Section 411.2031(3).]
- S.B. 11 prohibits liability for damages and cause of action in damages (unless actions were capricious or arbitrary) against public and private institutions of higher education or an officer or employee of a public or private institution of higher education [S.B. 11, Section 2. Sec 411.208(a)-(f).]
- S.B. 11 creates an offense (crime) for a LTC license holder to carry a partially or wholly visible handgun (open carry) on the premises of a public or private institution of higher education or on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area of such an institution. [S.B. 11, section 4, Sec. 46.035(a-1)(1)-(2).]
In establishing reasonable rules and regulations regarding S.B. 11, a public or private institution is to take into consideration the uniqueness of the institution and the student body population.
Amberton University Profile
- Amberton University student profile is the mature, working professional who seeks to complete an undergraduate degree or to begin a graduate program. Students’ educational goals include degree attainment for career and professional advancement as well as personal achievement and fulfillment.
- Amberton University students commute to the Garland Campus and/or Frisco Center or choose to take courses on-line. The University has no campus housing, athletics, dining facilities, or student social clubs. No alcohol consumption is allowed on campus. All facilities are smoke-free. On-campus courses meet once a week for ten weeks for approximately four hours. There are four, ten-week sessions per academic year.
The average age of the Amberton student for FY 2015/2016 was 38. Of the 2,145 unduplicated students enrolled for the 2015/16 year, approximately 84% were graduate students. 85% of all students (undergraduate and graduate) enrolled in at least one online course during the 2015/16 academic year.
S.B. 11 Highlights
- The law does NOT allow “open carry” on campus.
- S.B. 11 deals only with the concealed carrying of handguns by people who have a license to carry (LTC). It is now, and will still be, illegal to display a firearm in campus buildings, or on-campus parking areas, sidewalks, or any part of Amberton University facilities or grounds.
- A person MUST have a license to carry a concealed handgun on campus.
- S.B. 11 authorizes concealed campus carry only by “license holders,” that is, people who received the state-mandated training and met other statutory requirements, including background checks, for a license to carry a handgun.
- A person must be 21 years of age to obtain a license to carry.
- The minimum age for obtaining a license to carry a concealed handgun is ordinarily 21. (Members of the military may obtain a license before age 21.)
- License holders have been allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus (but not in buildings) for 20 years.
- Since 1995, the law has allowed license holders to carry concealed handguns on campus (sidewalks, parking areas) and to keep firearms in locked, secure vehicles on campus.
- The laws authorizing concealed handguns on campus also place many restrictions and requirements on handgun licensees. For specific information please consult: https://www.dps.texas.gov/section/handgun-licensing
- For example, handguns may not be carried on the premises of any collegiate sporting event, and it is a crime for a license holder to carry a handgun while intoxicated (see Title 10, Chpt 46 & 46.03)
*Amberton University has no athletics or sporting events. It is also a violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct and Ethics to consume alcohol while on campus or to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on campus.