Campus Carry Law

POLICY

It is the policy of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to respect the Federal and Texas constitutions, both of which recognize Texas citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms. The Health Science Center also recognizes the Texas Legislature’s power to regulate the carrying of handguns. Finally, the Health Science Center recognizes its right under the Campus Carry Law to implement its own reasonable rules, regulations and other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns on the premises of the Health Science Center campuses.

PERTINENT INFORMATION

In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed a law which permits duly licensed concealed handgun owners the right to bring concealed handguns on to Texas public university campuses effective August 1, 2016. This law is commonly referred to as the “Campus Carry Law”. The law directed each public university resident in Texas to establish campus-specific policies for their campus implementing the law with consideration to the uniqueness of the campus environment. This law is applicable only to those who have a license to carry a handgun, and the handgun must be concealed at all times. This policy does not authorize the open carry of handguns on the Health Science Center campus. The  purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with Section 411.2031 of the Texas Government Code, the “Campus Carry Law”.

DEFINITIONS 

Campus

All lands and buildings leased or owned by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System for and on behalf of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Campus Carry Law

Section  411.2031 of the Texas Government Code permitting the carrying of concealed handguns by duly licensed holders on the Health Science Center campus.

Concealed Handgun License (CHL)

A valid and current Concealed Handgun License as defined by Subchapter H of the Texas Government Code.

Concealed Handgun License Zones

The areas on the Health Science Center campus where CHL holders may carry a concealed handgun.

Exclusion Zones

The areas on the Health Science Center campus where CHL holders may not carry a concealed handgun.

Handgun

Any firearm that is designed made or adapted to be fired with one hand (see Texas Penal Code, Section 46.01(5)).

License to Carry

In January 2016 when open carry became permissible in Texas, the Texas Legislature formally changed the terminology of "Concealed Handgun License", or CHL, to "License to Carry", or LTC. "License to Carry" is now the official terminology used to include both concealed carry and open carry. If an individual has a LTC permit, where permissible, they can carry a handgun in a concealed or open manner. However, on the HSC campus, we do not allow open carry in any of our buildings. The language in this policy will utilize the "CHL" terminology since that terminology is consistent with the discussions held on campus in Fiscal Year 2016.

CHL ZONES AND EXCLUSION ZONES

Following are the details of CHL Zones and Exclusion Zones as they pertain to the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. For updated information and for color-coded maps depicting areas where campus carry is allowed or excluded, please visit the campus carry website at www.uthscsa.edu/campuscarry

CHL ZONES ( areas where CHL holders may carry a concealed handgun)

  • Holly Auditorium and Foyer on the Joe and Teresa Long Campus;
  • All parking lots and parking garages on all Health Science Center campuses;
  • Recreation fields on the Long Campus (excluding the Gold’s Facility where guns will not be allowed);
  • Warehouses, Grounds, Facilities Management and UT Police offices;
  •  Administration Building (where Human Resources is housed);
  • Professional Administration Resource Center (PARC);
  • Former Texas Star Café/Cafeteria between Schools of Dentistry and Nursing;
  • SBC Teleconference Center and the former cafeteria at  the Texas Research Park campus;
  • For the Regional Campus Laredo (RCL), due to the large number of minors who visit the campus during the summer months, guns will be prohibited on campus in both RCL buildings in June, July, and August. When there are visits by minors expected at other times during the year, the Regional Dean may elect to post signage indicating that concealed carry is prohibited during those times.

EXCLUSION ZONES (areas where CHL owners may NOT carry a handgun)

  • All patient-care areas, including simulation centers which are used to educate students in the art of patient examination;
  • Areas where organized programs for K-12 students are regularly held on campus. This includes the Academic Learning and Teaching Center where regular groups of minors are present for tours, instruction and mentoring;
  • Laboratories where the discharge of a handgun might cause widespread harm such as laboratories with dangerous chemicals such as biologic or explosive agents, and animal care areas including vivaria;
  • The fitness facility on the Health Science Center’s Long Campus. This facility is not operated by the Health Science Center, but  by a third-party vendor, Gold’s Gym;
  • Space or buildings that are connected by hallways or corridors to other excluded areas cited above. For example, excluded from campus carry are areas of contiguous space that are impossible, or significantly difficult, to cordon off and where to do so would impede heavy foot traffic and inhibit commerce;
  • The Health Science Center President may deem CHL zones to be Exclusion Zones for the period of time that the CHL Zone hosts excluded activities listed above. For example, an event on the Health Science Center campus that includes minors or patients may be deemed an Exclusion Zone during the event. During this period, required signage of this policy will be erected in the deemed Exclusion Zone for the duration of the excluded period.

OTHER

  • Other than patient care areas where CHL holders are excluded from bringing handguns, the decision to allow handguns in buildings that are leased and not owned by the Health Science Center will be left up to the property owners who will be required to post signage.
  • Areas where concealed carry is prohibited will be marked by signage that conforms to Section 30.06 of the Texas Penal Code.

POLICY PERMISSIONS AND VIOLATIONS

The mere possession of a properly licensed concealed handgun by a CHL holder in CHL zones on the Health Science Center campus is not a violation of the Health Science Center’s policy. However, a violation of this policy by an employee, student or trainee may constitute a violation of institutional policies regarding conditions of employment, school attendance or training, thereby subjecting the individual to disciplinary action, up to and including termination and/or criminal prosecution. See related statutes at the end of this policy.

Health Science Center students are also subject to this policy.

CHL holders are prohibited from engaging in direct, conditional, or veiled threats, involving the CHL holder’s concealed handgun. This may include, but is not limited to, overt or implicit references by the CHL holder to the CHL holder’s concealed handgun in a way as to intentionally or knowingly incite fear or concern in any other person. Such conduct may result in disciplinary actions.

Except for storing a handgun in a vehicle as permitted by Texas law, CHL holders must keep their concealed handgun on or about their person at all times. For purposes of this policy and subject to the requirements of Texas law, “on or about one’s person” means close at hand and within such distance of the CHL holder so that, without materially changing his/her position, the CHL holder could get his/her hand on the handgun. Except for storing a handgun in a vehicle as permitted by Texas law, CHL holders are prohibited from leaving their concealed handgun unattended anywhere on the Health Science Center campus, regardless of whether stored in a desk drawer, cabinet, purse, handbag, backpack, fanny pack, briefcase or otherwise.

CHL holders are responsible for safeguarding their concealed handgun at all times and must take necessary precautions to ensure their concealed handgun is secured in a manner that is most likely to prevent theft, loss or damage, or misuse. CHL holders must have their handgun in a holster that completely covers the trigger and the trigger guard area. The holster must have sufficient tension or grip on the concealed handgun to retain it in the holster even when subjected to unexpected jostling. CHL holders are liable for any and all damage, injury, liability, loss, cost, or expense directly or indirectly resulting from or arising out of an accidental or inadvertent discharge of their concealed handgun or their violation of this policy.

The Health Science Center does not provide storage or lockers or holding services for CHL holders.

The CHL holder whose concealed handgun is lost or stolen on the Health Science Center campus must immediately report the loss or theft to the UT Health Science Center Police Department.

In accordance with Texas law, CHL holders may secure their concealed handgun safely in their vehicles. The Health Science Center assumes no responsibility for loss or theft of concealed handguns from CHL holders’ vehicles on the Health Science Center campus.

If any person believes that a CHL holder has violated this policy, he or she should immediately report the violation by calling the University Police Department, (210) 567-2800, or call the University’s Compliance Hot Line number, 877-507-7317. Emergencies should be reported by calling 911.