The Texas A&M University System proposed rules Wednesday that would let students, employees and others with handgun licenses carry concealed weapons into classrooms and residence halls, with some exceptions, starting Aug. 1, when a contentious Texas law takes effect.
“No rule proposed by any Texas A&M System member prohibits a licensed holder from carrying a concealed handgun in classrooms or residential facilities owned and operated, or leased and operated, by the institution,” a summary statement from the system says.
By contrast, the University of Texas at Austin — where the campus carry law has provoked debate and protests — has proposed a ban on guns in campus residence halls, except in common areas such as dining halls and lounges.
UT President Gregory L. Fenves said when he announced the rules in February that he would allow concealed guns in classrooms to comply with the law, even though he opposes it. UT’s Faculty Council, various student organizations and a group called Gun Free UT also oppose it.
At three A&M System universities where residential facilities are leased to a third-party manager — Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M International and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi — officials would defer to the management company on whether to allow guns.
Locations where A&M schools would ban guns include sporting and other interscholastic events, where weapons already are forbidden by law.
At Texas A&M’s flagship campus in College Station, guns wouldn’t be allowed in such locations as private offices, certain scientific labs, programs or schools serving children, patient counseling centers, health facilities with protected records and places where formal administrative hearings or investigations are held.
College Station campus President Michael K. Young, who created a task force of students, faculty and staff, said he embraced virtually all of their recommendations.
“I am confident that the real concern expressed throughout the process is reflected in the task force’s recommendations, which are tailored specifically to the needs of our campuses, and are the most appropriate way to fully implement the new law at Texas A&M,” he said in a statement.
Texas A&M’s proposals will be considered by the system’s board of regents April 27. UT system regents are also expected to review the proposed rules.
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