Campus carry begins at four year universities

Campus carry begins at four year universities

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Senate Bill 11, also known as campus carry, took effect Monday, which allows anyone with a concealed license to carry a concealed handgun on campus in permitted areas.

Exclusion zones associated with the University of Texas of the Permian Basin are their charter school, Early College High School, the counseling center, daycare and in some laboratories in the Science and Technology Building.

President David Watts of UTPB said with the implementation of the new law, he doesn't expect to see major changes.

"Concealed handgun carry on campus, it's not an open carry campus," said Watts. "We're not gonna have people walking around with rifles or other weapons in an exposed fashion so I really don't expect today to be any different than yesterday, or the week before, or last year."

Any concealed handgun license holder who exposes his or her weapon without needing to protect themselves is breaking the law.

UTPB plans on educating and informing the campus community on the subject starting in the fall with the Campus Carry Advisory Group to get suggestions from students, faculty and staff on the implantation of the new law, but said UTPB will remain safe, as it always has.

"You're not gonna be seeing handguns on campus anymore today than you did yesterday," said Watts. "A concealed handgun license owner is obligated to keep his or her weapon from exposure and so the threat that is associated with it should be absolutely minimal."

There's no way to determine how many students on campus have a concealed handgun license. However, demographic data done by UTPB shows that currently fewer than one percent are licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

Midland College is not included in the new campus carry bill as the bill only covers four year universities.

Copyright 2016 KWES. All rights reserved.