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Campus Carry - Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs are intended to provide Campus Carry guidance in a helpful format, and are not meant to supplant UH MAPP 07.01.05, which is the exclusive UH policy regarding Campus Carry.


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    What is the law for carrying handguns on campus?
    The Texas “Campus Carry Law” allows persons with a state mandated license to carry (LTC) to carry a concealed handgun in certain areas on campus so long as the area has not been designated by the University as an exclusion zone. In compliance with state law and University policy, individuals who do not possess a valid license to carry a handgun are prohibited from carrying handguns on campus.

    The University’s campus carry policy that lists the areas designated as exclusion zones can be found here:

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    What is the “campus carry” law?
    Section 411.2031 of the Texas Government Code (the Campus Carry law) allows the carrying of handguns by license holders on college campuses. While the University President may not generally prohibit license holders from carrying concealed weapons on the campus, the law gives public universities some discretion to regulate campus carry including designating certain areas on campus where concealed handguns are prohibited. The University’s campus carry policy that lists the areas designated as exclusion zones can be found here:

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    What does “concealed handgun” mean?
    A handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person. 
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    Can a person without an LTC carry a handgun on campus?
    No. In compliance with state law and University policy, individuals who do not possess a valid license to carry a handgun continue to be prohibited from carrying handguns on campus.

    This prohibition is in compliance with Texas House Bill No. 1927 (H.B. 1927), which is titled the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, and is sometimes referred to as the “Permitless Carry” law or the “Constitutional Carry” law. H.B. 1927 amends Texas Penal Code 46.02 and 46.03 to allow persons to carry handguns without a license in certain places and under certain circumstances; University campuses are listed as locations that are exceptions under the Firearm Carry Act of 2021. 
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    Can I bring a gun other than a handgun on campus?
    Texas law only makes it legal for individuals with a license to carry (LTC) to carry handguns on campus. Since LTCs do not permit rifles and other weapons, those items remain prohibited. All other weapons besides handguns are strictly prohibited for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, including long guns, knives with blades longer than 5.5 inches, brass knuckles, clubs, and explosives. Their possession on campus is grounds for immediate criminal and disciplinary action. 
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    Does Texas law allow for open carry on campus?
    No, the Campus Carry law addresses only concealed handgun carry on college campuses, and does NOT allow open carry. Thus, under Texas law, it will continue to be illegal to display a firearm inside campus buildings or on campus streets, parking lots, sidewalks, walkways, etc. 
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    What is the difference between “campus carry” and “open carry”?
    “Campus Carry” refers to Texas legislation which allows individuals with a valid license to carry a handgun (LTC) to carry concealed handguns on a University campus so long as the area has not been designated by the University as an exclusion zone.

    “Open Carry” refers to Texas legislation which allows an individual to visibly, or “openly” carry a holstered handgun in public places. The Open Carry legislation has some exceptions, including university campuses. Open Carry is prohibited on the University campus and any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage or other parking area of the University. 
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    What limitations can universities place on concealed license holders?
    The Campus Carry Law gives universities the ability to determine when and where carrying a concealed firearm is and is not appropriate on their campus. In accordance with Texas Government Code 411.2031, those determinations had to be made with feedback from the university community. Texas public higher education institutions may prohibit concealed handgun license holders from carrying handguns by creating exclusion zones on certain areas of campus. The University’s campus carry policy that lists the areas designated as exclusion zones can be found here:

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    What are the criteria of establishing an exclusion zone?
    As indicated in the Campus Carry policy, the criteria to establish an exclusion zone include:

    • Campus areas used for day care and school activities, including areas frequently used by minor children.
    • Health care facilities similar to hospitals used for patient care, counseling and mental health services.
    • Areas used for sporting or interscholastic events. 
    • Established places of religious worship. 
    • Polling places. 
    • Laboratory areas where dangerous materials and equipment or research animals are present.
    • University housing other than Calhoun Lofts.
    • Spaces used for discussions of grievances or disciplinary hearings or meetings. (These exclusions may be permanent or temporary based on usage of the spaces.)
    • Areas containing critical university infrastructure.
    • Areas where contractual or licensing obligations require the exclusion of firearms.
    • An assigned employee office for which the employee has demonstrated that the carrying of a concealed handgun by a license holder in the office presents a Significant Risk of Substantial Harm due to a negligent discharge of the handgun, and the president or president’s designee has approved the employee’s request that the office be designated as an area where licensed concealed carry of a handgun is not permitted.
    • Large-scale performance or sports venues during ticketed events, if a temporary exclusion is obtained pursuant one of the provisions of the following paragraph.
    • Areas where there are Reasonably Justified Safety Concerns on a Temporary Basis.  These exclusions are limited to the following circumstances:
      • Where the requestor provides credible evidence that a concealed handgun on the particular premise creates a special danger;
      • For dignitary protection of public officials, judges, candidates, or public figures, upon a showing of credible evidence that there is a particular threat to security;
      • For activities which have a demonstrated history of violence;
      • For large-scale activities where the presence of alcohol, specific safety considerations, the uniqueness of the campus environment, or the specific threat of violence in conjunction with the activity, present a reasonable threat to health or safety.
    • Other areas prohibited by state or federal law.

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    Which areas on campus are exclusion zones?
    The University’s campus carry policy that lists the areas designated as exclusion zones can be found here:

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    How will I know if an area has been designated as an exclusion zone?
    The University’s campus carry policy can be found here and the specific exclusion zones can be found here.

    In compliance with Texas Penal Code 30.06,the University provides notice to the University community of exclusion zone locations through any of the following methods:

    • posting a sign on or near entrances to buildings where the entire building is excluded,
    • placing notices on doors or other areas inside or outside buildings where some, but not all of the building is an exclusion zone; and
    • providing cards to individuals.

    Additionally, the University ensures that the University community is informed of exclusion zones even prior to arriving on campus by maintaining a list of Exclusion Zones by Building Number and Name, and by providing information in the student handbook, student life materials, ticketed events materials, flyers for events, e-mail communications to the University community, as well as via training provided to University faculty, staff, and students.
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    May an individual member of the university community post a sign or notice that prohibits handguns in their offices, classrooms, or other workspaces?
    No. In accordance with Texas law, only the University President by policy can designate areas as exclusion zones. University community members cannot designate their own exclusion zones. The University does not authorize any member of the University community to post their own signs or notices or individually choose an area to post signs or notices.
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    Will University faculty and staff be allowed to a carry concealed handgun? Can I tell my employees that they cannot carry a concealed handgun?
    The campus carry law permits individuals with a license to carry, including university faculty and staff, to carry a concealed handgun so long as it is done consistent with the University’s campus carry policy found here. A supervisor cannot prohibit an individual, including an employee that they supervise, from carrying a concealed handgun so long as it is done consistent with the University’s campus carry policy. 

    Unless an employee is required to carry a firearm as part of the employee’s specific job duties (i.e., Police Officer), any possession or use of a firearm by the employee is not considered to be within the scope of employment with the University. As such, any employee who chooses to use a firearm is acting in the employee’s individual capacity and not as an agent of the University. 
    Additionally, employees who decide to carry a concealed handgun must be aware that he or she must still be able to perform all assigned duties and responsibilities in areas on campus and must plan appropriately for the legal storage of any handgun. In other words, disciplinary action up to and including termination may result if an employee is not able to perform their job duties and functions because the area they are assigned to perform work (or the work that they are assigned to perform) is in an exclusion zone and the employee is carrying a handgun.
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    What happens if someone violates the University’s campus carry policy?
    A person who fails to comply with the concealed handgun rules and regulations prescribed by the University will be in violation of the Texas Penal Code, and criminal charges will be brought against the violator. Additionally, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed up to and including expulsion and termination of employment.
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    Does a police officer have the right to disarm me?
    Yes. If a police officer reasonably believes a safety risk exists, or has other probably cause to do so, he or she may disarm you. You should be courteous and non-confrontational and follow the police officer's directions.
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    What responsibility does a license to carry a handgun (LTC) holder have to keep his or her weapon concealed? Are LTC holders violating the terms of their permit if someone gets a glimpse of their weapon?
    A person with a concealed carry permit must conceal the weapon. A violation would occur when a person knowingly and intentionally (rather than accidentally) displays the handgun in plain view of another person.
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    Will I be able to find out which students have a concealed gun in my class? Will the University publish a list of concealed handgun license holders or require students, faculty and staff members who have a concealed handgun license to register with the Police Department?
    The University will not track or have a list of LTC holders at the university. Individuals holding a valid LTC are not required to disclose their status. The only exception to this rule is if police ask about concealed carry status for law enforcement purposes. License holders are required to inform the police, if questioned, if they are carrying a handgun. Importantly, if asked by someone other than a police officer, students, faculty, and staff cannot be retaliated against in any way for failure to answer the question or for answering in the affirmative or negative. In no way should faculty, staff, and students be pressured or coerced into divulging their campus carry/LTC status. 
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    What do I do if I see someone with a gun and it is a non-threatening situation?
    Be a good witness and avoid escalating the situation by confronting the individual. Call the University of Houston Police Department immediately at 713-743-3333. If there is an active shooter on campus please see the links below for guidelines of what to do. 

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    What should I do if I suspect or know there is an active shooter on campus?
    Please see links below for guidelines for what to do in the event of an active shooter on campus:

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    Is a handgun license holder required to display identification if asked to by a police officer?
    Yes. The license holder shall display both the license holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by DPS, and the license holder's handgun license. Texas Government Code § 411.205.
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    Can I carry a concealed weapon at sporting events?
    No, the Campus Carry Law, and the Texas Penal Code, and university policy prohibit a license holder from carrying a concealed weapon at any on campus sporting event.
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    Can I bring a gun into an apartment complex that is not owned by the University where students reside?
    The law covers concealed carry only on campus and the buildings owned or leased by the University. The Campus Carry Law does not affect privately owned fraternity or sorority houses or private residential facilities. The University is not authorized to enact rules or regulations regarding concealed carry in any of these areas.
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    What do I need to do with my gun if I live in an apartment complex on campus that allows concealed handguns?
    When not carried on or about a person, handguns must be in a Secure Storage Area, locked compartment of a locked vehicle, or a gun safe. Gun safes must meet the following requirements:

    • Be large enough to fully contain all firearms placed in it and provide for secure storage;
    • Have exterior walls constructed of a minimum 16-gauge steel;
    • Have a high-strength locking system consisting of a mechanical or electronic combination or biometric lock, and not a key lock
    • Be certified to/listed as meeting Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container rating standards by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).
    • Be physically secured inside the license holder’s residence in a manner that conforms to University of Houston Resident Life and Housing policy.

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    What is a Secure Storage Area?
    A Secure Storage Area is an area designated by the University for storage of handguns belonging to the faculty, staff, students, and visitors of the University community. It must be operated by armed UHPD personnel and accessible to handgun owners twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Secure Storage Areas will be maintained at the campus police station and at other locations that may be established by the University. 
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    Why doesn’t the University ban handguns from classrooms?
    The Campus Carry Law authorizes a university president to enact “reasonable rules and regulations” but the rules may not either “generally prohibit” or “have the effect of generally prohibiting” license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus. Banning concealed handguns from classrooms would likely be considered a general prohibition and so would violate the law.
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    How does Campus Carry apply to UH Cy-Fair, Kingwood, and Northwest campuses? 
    UHD Cy-Fair, Kingwood, and Northwest campuses are located on the property of Lone Star College System, a public junior college. LTC license holders may not carry a concealed handgun on Lone Star College System property according to Lone Star College System policy.
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    What are the reciprocal carry agreements for concealed carry and license to carry holders from other states? 
    A list of reciprocity agreements can be found on the website of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
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