In 2015 the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11, a law requiring the state’s public colleges and universities to allow individuals with a license to carry (LTC) to have a handgun concealed on their person, or locked in their car, while on campus. This law took effect at four-year institutions in August 2016. It now takes effect at community colleges, including Collin College, as of August 1, 2017.
Lawmakers authorized college presidents to develop campus carry rules and regulations specific to their campuses, for final approval by the Boards of Trustees. Collin’s Faculty Council formed a Concealed Carry and Campus Safety Committee to discuss potential gun free zones, emergency procedures, and other matters. Based on their feedback, and input from the Collin College Police Department, the Collin College Board of Trustees established policies regarding areas where handguns are prohibited. Our policies also allow us to make any location or facility of the college a temporary exclusion zone when necessary for campus safety. Signage will be posted identifying locations where concealed carry is prohibited.
As we have commented many times over the past two years, we know that there are diverse opinions about this new law. Some students and employees absolutely believe a handgun is necessary for their own personal safety. Others are passionate in their belief that handguns on campus are a threat to their personal safety. It is incumbent upon us to provide a safe learning environment for our students and employees while also complying with the law.
The best way to prevent campus violence is to insist on a high level of civility at every level and to treat one other with respect and mutual deference. Even so, we have to be prepared for the unthinkable. Vigilance and preparation will help to keep all of us out of harm’s way.
More information is available in the Concealed Carry section of the Collin College website. Collin College is a special place and an education haven for students, faculty, and staff. Thank you in advance for your perspective, your cooperation, and your dedication to keeping our campus community safe.
H. Neil Matkin, Ed.D.