It is now legal for licensed gun owners to carry on Texas' public colleges and university campuses as long as the gun is concealed. 'Campus Carry' was voted into law during the last legislative session but lawmakers left it up to schools to come up with reasonable rules and regulations.
Today 'Campus Carry' goes into effect statewide on the same day as the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shootings. The tower is one of the places where guns are prohibited on the UT campus.
Licensed concealed handguns are allowed virtually everywhere on the 40 acre campus, including sidewalks and campus garages. If professors do not want guns in their offices, they have to orally tell whomever is entering. Some places where you will see signs prohibiting guns on the campus however are in residential dorms and high hazard science labs, like ones with flammable materials.
Guns are also prohibited at the Cactus Cafe in the Student Union and Daryl K Royal stadium. The Texas and Alcohol Commission prohibits carrying a gun at a place that makes 51% of their money through alcohol sales.
"If everything works well then nobody knows anybody's got a gun then we get back to business and teaching and doing research," said Doctor Bob Harkins, the associate VP of campus safety and security. "The other message is that I really want the person that wants to carry on campus to think through their day and look for the consequences of their activity."
For example, if someone carrying a gun decides to swim, they have to think about where they would put the gun. It can't be left on the side of the pool and you can't swim with it. There are also no lockers on campus to store the guns. The person carrying is responsible for keeping their holstered gun with them at all times. Either enclosed in a backpack or bag. If someone has a holster ont heir belt, that also must be concealed by clothing.
Since guns have to be concealed, anyone who sees a gun on the UT campus should call 911 and not approach the person with the gun themselves.
For a full updated list of UT's campus carry rules, click here.