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Policy

Concealed Campus Carry Policy

Task Force recommendations were approved by the president and presented to the ACC Board of Trustees at their June 19 work session. The recommendations became ACC policy on August 1, 2017.

Handbook of Operating Procedures – Concealed Carry Policy
Effective August 1, 2017

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with Section 411.2031 of the Texas Government Code (also known as the "Campus Carry Law"), while maintaining the Austin Community College District's commitment to provide a safe environment for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Persons Affected

This policy applies to all individuals who may work, attend classes, conduct business, or visit any campus of the Austin Community College District, including without limitation employees, faculty, trainees, students, outpatients, visitors, volunteers, contractors, commercial tenants, or vendors. This policy does not apply to peace officers as defined in Article 2.12 of the Texas Code of Criminal procedure, and does not apply to military service members or officers, inspectors, or investigators employed by a federal agency who are carrying a weapon in the course of official duties.

Definitions

Campus - means all buildings, land or portions of buildings owned or controlled by the Austin Community College District.

Concealed Handgun - a handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernable to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.

Exclusion Zones - means the area or areas of any Austin Community College District where a License to Carry (LTC) Holder may not carry a concealed handgun, weapon, or firearm.

Handgun - any firearm that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired by one hand.

License to Carry (LTC) Holder - any individual Licensed to Carry (also known as LTC) a handgun under Subchapter H. Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code.

Store - means to take steps that a reasonable person would take to prevent access to a firearm or weapon including without limitations to place a firearm or weapon in a locked container. For the purpose of this policy, a firearm that is temporarily rendered inoperable by use of a trigger lock or other means is not stored.

Weapon - includes a firearm, explosive weapon, machine gun, short-barrel firearm, firearm silencer, knuckles, armor-piercing ammunition, zip gun, chemical dispensing device (other than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection), tire deflation device, illegal knife, or club.

Work Area - means the place or places an individual performs assigned duties as an employee, student, or faculty member of the Austin Community College District.

Policy

1. Open Carry of Handguns

a. All persons, including License to Carry (LTC) Holders, are prohibited from openly carrying a handgun or other firearm on any Austin Community College District Campus. The prohibition on weapons and the open carry of firearms includes any public driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area on any Austin Community College District Campus. It is a violation of Texas law (Texas Penal Code), the Student Code of Conduct, and the Employee Handbook, to openly carry a handgun or other firearm on any Austin Community College District Campus.

b. Officer Training or Color Guard firearms or weapons may be used on the Austin Community College District campuses in connection with ROTC/Color Guard related programs, events, or activities.

2. Carrying of a Concealed Handgun by a Licensed to Carry Holder (LTC)

a. Unless otherwise prohibited by law or this policy, a License to Carry (LTC) Holder may carry a Concealed Handgun while on any Austin Community College District campus (including public driveways, streets, sidewalks or walkways, parking lots, parking garages, and other parking areas). License to Carry (LTC) Holders are expeced to and must strictly comply with this policy and applicable law. License to Carry (LTC) Holders shall not carry their Concealed Handgun into the Exclusion Zones designated by the Austin Community College District President.

b. While the Austin Community College District will employe all reasonable means to delineate Exclusion Zones by signage in accordance with Texas law, it is the responsibility of the License to Carry (LTC) Holder to know, understand, and follow this policy and applicable law while on any Austin Community College District Campus.

c. When carrying a Concealed Handgun on any Austin Community College District Campus, a License to Carry (LTC) Holder must carry their handgun on or about their person. For purposes of this policy and subject to the requirements of Texas law, on or about their person means "close at hand" and within such distance of the License to Carry (LTC) Holders so that without materially changing positions, the License to Carry (LTC) Holder can place his or her hand on the handgun.

d. A License to Carry (LTC) Holder may not carry a partically or wholly visible handgun, or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly display a handgun in plain view of another person (even if holstered) on any Austin Community College District Campus, including public driveways, streets, sidewalks and walkways, parking lots, and parking garages, and other parking areas.

e. An employee who is a License to Carry (LTC) Holder may carry a Concealed Handgun into his or her work area, unless prohibited under this policy; but is not authorized by Austin Community College District to use the handgun in the course and scope of performing his or her duties. Any employee whose possession, storage, or use of a handgun results in personal injury or property damage is personally liable for the injury or damage, and is not entitled to immunity under Section 411.208 of the Texas Government Code.

f. A License to Carry (LTC) Holder failes to use reasonable care when he or she does not exercise the standard of care that a reasonable or prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances, or if the License to Carry (LTC) Holder takes action, which a reasonable or prudent person would not take.

Examples when a License to Carry (LTC) Holder failes to use reasonable care including and without limitations:

i. Failing to keep or maintain backpack, purse, or other similar bag or carryall with a handgun on or about their person at all times while on any Austin Community College District Campus.

ii. Failing to carry a handgun in a holder or holster that completely covers the trigger and trigger guard area.

iii. Failing to use a holder or holster which has sufficient tension or grip to retain it in the holder or holster even when subjected to unexpected jostling.

iv. Failing to immediately report the loss or theft of their handgun on campus to the Austin Community College District Police Department.

v. Failing to conceal a handgun properly during any classroom, lab, or work area involving bodily movements or physical activity.

3. Disclosure of License to Carry (LTC) Holder Status Not Required

a. License to Carry (LTC) Holders are not required to disclose their status as a License to Carry (LTC) Holder to any Austin Community College District employee, faculty member, trainee, or student other than a law enforcement officer.

b. The Austin Community College District will not maintain a list of License to Carry (LTC) Holders.

4. Handgun Storage

a. Austin Community College District will not provide handgun storage lockers for License to Carry (LTC) Holders.

b. A License to Carry (LTC) Holder may lawfully store their handgun or ammunition in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle on any driveway, street, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area provided by or under the control of the Austin Community College District.

c. A License to Carry (LTC) Holder shall not leave a handgun unattended anywhere on any Austin Community College District Campus, regardless of whether stored in a locked container, desk drawer, cabinet, office, backpack, purse, or other similar bag or carryall.

d. A License to Carry (LTC) Holder may not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly display a handgun in plain view of another person except as necessary to properly store the handgun in a privately owned motor vehicle.

5. Authority to Designate Exclusion Zones

Only the President of the Austin Community College District has the authority to declare additional, specific premises or areas as Exclusion Zones. Except as provided in this policy, without the express written consent of the President, no Austin Community College District faculty member, employee, student, or student group may declare a specific premise or area as an Excusion Zone.

6. Violations of Policy

Any individual who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of employment or non-renewal of appointment, dismissal from an eductional program, or termination of a business relationship, and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Exclusion Zones Where Concealed Handguns are Prohibited

  1. Any location where Pre K-12 school sponsored activities are held.
  2. Any polling place located on any campus during the commencement of early voting through the Election Day.
  3. Any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court used by federal, state, or local judge for official business.
  4. A business operated by the Austin Community College District or operating on an Austin Community College District Campus that has a permit or license issued under Chapter 25, 28, 32, 69, or 74, Alcohol Beverage Code, and derives 51 percent or more of its income from the sale of alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission under Section 104.06, Alcoholic Beverage Code, shall prominently display the required signage at each entrance of the business premises.
  5. Any high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event while taking place, unless the License to Carry (LTC) Holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event. Notice should be given for all collegiate sporting events. For ticketed sporting events, notice should be given as means of written communication on the back of, or appended to, the ticket. Vendors and others who are permitted to enter the premises without a ticket should provide written notice through other means.
  6. All testing centers located on the Austin Community College District.
  7. Meetings of the Board of Trustees of the Austin Community College District.
  8. Any outpatient care areas, including those in which professional mental health services and licensed counseling are provided. These will include areas where medical records are maintained.
  9. Designated areas where meetings and formal hearings are conducted for student issues, discipline and conduct as well as the termination, discipline, dismissal or grievance of an employee or faculty member.
  10. Any laboratories or storage rooms with extremely dangerous chemicals, biologic agents, or explosive agents, and areas with equipment that is incompatible with metallic objects, such as magnetic resonance imaging machines.
  11. Any buildings or grounds where counselors, staff, and volunteers work in a campus program for minors such as the Austin Community College Child Lab School.
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