UTPB submits proposed plan for campus carry "exclusion zones"

UTPB submits proposed plan for campus carry "exclusion zones"

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Campus carry goes into effect August 1 at public universities across the state of Texas. A committee of students, faculty and staff have been meeting once a week since September to discuss what guidelines to put in place on the University of Texas of the Permian Basin campus. UTPB will be submitting their plan ahead of the upcoming campus carry deadline.

"It's just scary all together that's on campus. You are going to have to deal with that. I mean, you don't really know who's carrying," said Ned Simmons, UTPB basketball coach.

Students and staff have mixed emotions about campus carry going into effect in a few months.
"The more guns on campus, the more chance for something to go wrong," said Pablo Gutierrez, UTPB student.

Others said they would feel safer with campus carry. Under the campus carry law, universities are allowed to establish "reasonable rules" for those who want to concealed carry.
"We want to comply with the law, which we believe we are doing. We want to maintain a safe campus. We think our plan will enable us to do that and recognize individual rights," said Teresa Sewell, Senior Associate VP of Student Services.

The committee listed out a number of exclusion zones where concealed carry would be prohibited. Those locations include: the UTPB STEM Academy, Early College High School in wings A & B of the Founders Building. The Counseling Center, which is in wing C of the Founder's Building, the Child Care Center inside of the Student Activity Center, all locations of sporting events (collegiate or otherwise), all research labs containing volatile chemicals and the Student Testing and Accommodations Center.

Student housing is a complicated subject. Those who live on campus and want to carry must be living in an individual room, where they can lock their door and must have a second way of locking up their weapon with a combination or biometric gun safe.

The school is considering training for staff and students before campus carry goes into affect.

"The training efforts will entail possibly, what to do if you do see a weapon and what the rules are for concealed campus carry. For those who do choose to campus carry, we might have some training for them that tells them here's the rules under which you can carry," said Sewell.

The proposed plan will be submitted the UT Board of Regents on May 11, 2016 for approval.

To read the full proposed plan, click here.

Copyright 2016 KWES. All rights reserved.