On Tuesday, someone reported to UTPD that they found a holstered handgun inside one of the stalls in the women’s restroom at the McCombs building on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
Then Wednesday, someone found a gun inside another women’s restroom at the Pickle Research Campus in North Austin. “While we have had two incidents this week they are independent of each other, they are isolated incidents and there is nothing to lead me to believe there's a trend moving forward,” said Jimmy Johnson. Interim Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security.
The McCombs gun owner is a UT student. The Pickle campus owner is not.
According to UT Austin, both owners did claim their guns and both were licensed.
UTPD and DPS are still working to determine if they will face any penalites.
“For university affiliates there is a policy in reference to campus carry, our guests are subject to those same policies. Punitive action to non-UT affiliates would be pending. While it is a policy violation, how do we act on that?” said Johnson.
Although these may have been mistakes, the group "Students for Concealed Carry" has a message for gun owners around campus.
“Carry your firearm in a way you don't have to set it down so where it's continuously concealed and controlled throughout your entire day. The most common ways this can happen are with usually people who change the manner in which they carry usually to accommodate different clothing such as the change in weather,” said Quinn Cox, Southwest Regional Direction of SCC.
Since it was implemented in 2016, UT says there have not been any major negative events regarding campus carry, only a couple minor mishaps.
Johnson doesn't think what happened this week will affect campus carry privileges.
However, S.C.C. thinks it's a wake-up call for campus gun owners to be more aware.
“I think it will serve as a learning experience for not only people who carry on campus, but also people who carry in countless other places like movies, grocery stores, et cetera,” said Cox.
UTPD Chief David Carter says they are taking these incidents seriously and they will not tolerate this "reckless" behavior.