As the state of Texas prepares to enact its “campus carry” law, SMU President R. Gerald Turner has confirmed that the University will remain a weapons-free campus by policy.
Senate Bill 11 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on Saturday, June 13. The new law allows students age 21 and older with concealed-handgun licenses to openly carry the weapons on public college and university campuses in hip or shoulder holsters. The final version of the bill allows public schools to establish rules on where handguns can be carried and how they will be stored.
Turner confirmed the decision to opt out, as the law allows private colleges and universities to do, in a statement dated Friday, June 5, 2015:
At the end of their recent legislative session, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 11, which is known as “campus carry.”
The final version of the legislation allows private Texas colleges and universities to opt out of its requirement and to continue to ban weapons, in consultation with their campus communities.
SMU has been a weapons-free campus by policy since at least 1994. University Policy 10.5, which prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon on SMU property, remains in full force and is not affected by this legislation. You can read the policy online in the University Policy Manual.
If the campus carry bill is signed into law, SMU will follow the process it outlines to consult with faculty, staff and students about opting out. I appreciate the questions and concerns many of you have raised on this issue and look forward to continuing this conversation in the months ahead.
Thanks to each of you for the important role you play in maintaining a safe and welcoming campus for all.