Texas Government Code 411.2031 affords individuals holding a licensed to carry (LTC)  holderthe legal right to carry a concealed handgun onto community college campuses; however, they cannot openly carry the handgun.  

South Plains College's detailed policy required by Senate Bill 11 can be found at this link: Policy HHC - Concealed Carry of Handgun (Campus Carry).

Constitutional Carry Considerations:

Although changes to Texas Government Code 411 by the Texas 87th Legislature permit the open or concealed carry of handguns in public spaces without a license to carry (unless otherwise prohibited by Texas or federal law), individuals must possess a valid license to carry in order to carry a handgun into a college building and said handgun must be concealed.

What Concealed Carry Allows:

  • The law permits only licensed to carry (LTC) holders or concealed handgun license (CHL) holders to carry concealed handguns on campuses.
  • Allows an institution to adopt rules or regulations that prohibit license holders from carrying concealed handguns on certain areas of campus, in a building or portion of a building as long as the rules and regulations do not have the effect of generally prohibiting a license holder from carrying a concealed handgun on campus. Effective notice must be provided with respect to any place where handguns may not be carried.

What Concealed Carry Does Not Allow:

  • The law does not allow “open carry” on college campuses. Open carry means the intentional display of a handgun, including the carry of a partially or wholly visible handgun stored in a shoulder or belt holster.
  • The law does not allow the carry of rifles or shotguns on college campuses.

2021-2022 Academic Year Texas Penal Code §30.06 Limitations

Calendar last updated on 10/18/2021.  Please check the calendar at least 48 hours prior to arrival on campus for any changes to building limitations.

Date Building(s)/Location(s) Times Event
Every Day Natatorium All Day Exclusion Area
9/7/2021 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents
10/14/2021 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents

11/4/2021

Texan Dome 4:00-10:00 p.m. Women's Basketball Classic

11/5/2021

Texan Dome 4:00-10:00 p.m. Women's Basketball Classic

11/6/2021

Texan Dome 11:00-5:00 Women's Basketball Classic

11/18/2021

Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents
11/19/2021 Texan Dome 5:30- 8:30 p.m. Texan Basketball game
11/20/2021 Texan Dome 12:00-3:00 p.m. Texan Basketball game
12/4/2021 Texan Dome 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Texan Basketball game
1/6/2022 Texan Dome 4:45-10:00 p.m. Lady Texan & Texan Basketball
1/10/2022 Texan Dome 4:45-10:00 p.m. Lady Texan & Texan Basketball
1/13/2022 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents
1/17/2022 Texan Dome 4:45-10:00 p.m. Lady Texan & Texan Basketball
2/7/2022 Texan Dome 4:45-10:00 p.m. Lady Texan & Texan Basketball
2/10/2022 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents
2/14/2022 Texan Dome 4:45-10:00 p.m. Lady Texan & Texan Basketball
2/21/2022 Texan Dome 4:45-10:00 p.m. Lady Texan & Texan Basketball
2/24/2022 Texan Dome 4:45-10:00 p.m. Lady Texan & Texan Basketball
3/10/2022 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents
4/14/2022 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents
4/22-23/2022 Fine Arts Building All Day One Act Play
4/22/2022 Administration, Communications, Fine Arts, Law Enforcement, Library, Math & Ag, Physical Education Complex, Science, Student Services, Student Center, and Technology Center All Day UIL Academics
4/29-30/2022 SPC Track and Track Facilities   UIL Track Meet
4/13-14/2022 Tennis Courts and Tennis facilities  All Day UIL Tennis Meet
5/13/2022 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents
6/9/2022 Administration - East Wing and Board of Regents Room All Day Board of Regents

FAQs

  • What is Senate Bill 11, sometimes known as Campus Carry?

Texas Senate Bill 11 was a bill passed in the Texas 86th Legislature permitting the carrying of concealed handguns on Texas public institution campuses by individuals holding a valid Texas License to Carry (LTC) or Concealed Handgun License (CHL). The laws enacted by this bill comprise part of Texas Government Code 411.

  • Under the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, will people be allowed to carry a handgun in SPC buildings without a license to carry?

No, individuals will not be lawfully allowed to carry a firearm in SPC building without a valid license to carry. Texas House Bill 1927 of the Texas 87th Legislature introduced the Firearm Carry Act of 2021 (also commonly known as "Constitutional Carry." This act amended sections of Government Code 411 to remove the requirement for persons 21 years of age or older to possess a handgun in public spaces unless othewise prohibited by Texas or federal law; however, no amendment removes the requirement to possess a valid license to carry in order to carry a handgun into a college building. 

  • Can everyone carry a handgun at SPC?

No, campus carry provisions are limited to valid handgun license holders. To obtain an LTC a person must be 21 years old (with the exception of active duty military and police officers), meet state and federal qualifications to own a handgun, and receive training from an LTC instructor that is certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

  • When do Campus Carry and Constituional Carry laws take effect?

Campus Carry became effective on August 1, 2017 for community colleges.

Constitutional Carry takes effect on September ,1 2021, but DOES NOT APPLY TO SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE.

  • Are handguns the only type of firearm to which campus carry applies?

Yes, Texas Government Code 411 only makes it legal for LTC or CHL holders to carry concealed handguns on campus. South Plains College prohibits possession and use of long-guns and other weapons on campus.  

  • Who developed SPC policy?

The President of South Plains College appointed a campus carry task force comprised of SPC students, administrators, faculty and staff members to make recommendations for the policy. The policy was presented by the President to the SPC Board of Regents and was subsequently adopted as board policy on March 9, 2017. and Updated on September 1, 2021 to maintain compliance with Texas Governemnt Code 411.2031.

  • Since dual credit students attend our classes on campus, can those areas be listed as off limits?

Dual credit students are enrolled in SPC classes on an SPC campus. Therefore, there is not a restriction on these classrooms.

  • Will people be openly carrying handguns on campus, since it is now legal in Texas?

No, although Texas House Bill 910, known as the "open carry" bill became law in January of 2016, it does not apply to public colleges. Individuals will not be allowed to carry visible handguns at SPC.

  • I plan to conceal carry in my purse. Currently, when I am in my office I keep my purse locked in a filing cabinet by my desk. Will it be okay to lock the purse with gun in my file cabinet or do I need to purchase a small gun safe for the office?

At any time your gun is not “on or about” your body, it would need to be secured in a gun safe as prescribed in the SPC policy or in a locked personal vehicle.

  • I don't want any guns on campus, why can't SPC just not allow it?

It is the law, and as a public college, we must follow the law.

  • How do I obtain an LTC?

You can find more information at the Texas Department of Public Safety website at www.txdps.state.tx.us.

  • What if I have a license to carry or concealed handgun license from another state?

Texas recognizes the validity of licenses from some other states and permits holders of such licenses to carry in the same capacity as holders of a valid Texas License to Carry. A complete list of states with Texas can be found at this link: Texas Handgun License Reciprocity

Texas Handgun Reciprocity

  • Where can I find SPC's policy on campus carry?

The policy can be found at this link: Policy HHC - Concealed Carry of Handguns (Campus Carry)

  • What should I do if I see a handgun on campus?

If you see a visible handgun on campus, contact the SPC Campus Police main number at 806-716-2396 and someone will be dispatched to your location. 

  • If I suspect that someone is carrying a concealed handgun, can I ask if he or she has the appropriate permit?

Authorized permit holders are not required to disclose their concealed carry license status to anyone, other than a law enforcement officer.

South Plains College employees (other than law enforcement officers) may not, under any circumstance, require students, employees or guests to disclose their concealed carry license status.

  • Can SPC employees post signage that prohibits handguns in our offices or classrooms?

No. All SPC gun-free zones will be designated by the SPC President. Texas Government Code 411 states that we "may not establish rules and regulations that would generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting handgun license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus." Restricting license holders from classrooms or offices would not meet this standard.

  • Can a supervisor request a list of employees who have a concealed carry permit? 

No. The College will not maintain a list of concealed carry license holders and this information is not a matter of public record.

  • Where does a weapon need to be in order to be legally "concealed"? Can a weapon be in a backpack or purse, or does it need to be directly on a person's body?

The law does not expressly state where a weapon needs to be in order to be considered “concealed.” The weapon cannot be in plain view or discernible by ordinary observation.   Further, the weapon must be on the license holder’s person or in close proximity (as to be readily accessible). It can be in a purse or backpack, as long as it is kept in close proximity.

  • What responsibility does a license to carry permit 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. If a person’s coat opens in the act of raising his or her arm to ask a question, for example, and a handgun can be seen, it is not a violation. A violation would occur when a person knowingly and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person.

  • What should I do if a student takes a firearm out of his or her backpack?

Handguns may not be displayed on the SPC campuses. It must be concealed at all times, barring life-threatening emergencies. If you see a handgun on campus, it should be reported to the SPC Police Department so it can be documented and properly investigated. You can reach the SPC Police Department at 806-716-2396 (all campuses).

  • Does a police officer have the right to disarm me?

Yes. If a police officer reasonably believes a safety risk exists, he/she may disarm you. Be courteous and non-confrontational and follow the police officer’s directions.

  • May I use my weapon as a means of defense if there are shots being fired?

A weapon may be used in self-defense only as allowed by law. By doing so, the person acting is doing so as a private citizen and not as an authorized agent of South Plains College.

  • If an incident occurs in my classroom with a person with a handgun, what should I do?

Do not confront the person; call 911. Help others to escape and run away if you can. Otherwise conceal yourself. Fight back if you have no choice. If you encounter police officers, follow their instructions.

SPC will be conducting training sessions each semester regarding guns on campus. In addition, there are videos available on the MySPC Safety and Health page. SAFETY VIDEOS

  • What areas will be "Exclusion Areas" at SPC ?

Exclusion areas:

The dome or track during high school or collegiate sporting events

Buildings where UIL sanctioned competition is being held

Board of Regents meetings

Conduct hearings

Polling locations

Where any other official governmental meeting or judicial proceeding is being conducted

The Natatorium (SPC designated exclusion)

  • How can I request to have a exclusionary zone designated?

Adoption of exclusion for a premise or venue must be reasonably justified. The requester must provide evidence that a concealed handgun on that particular premise or venue creates some special danger. Requests for exclusion must be provided in writing to the Office of the President at least 45 days prior to the date of the event.

  •  Are handguns allowed in the dorms?

Handgun license holders residing in SPC residence halls are allowed to possess handguns on the premise provided that:

a.) Such possession is in compliance at all times with Texas statutory law and these rules; and

b.) The license holder stores his/her handgun(s) in a College-approved gun safe (as defined in section 2e of the policy) or in a locked personal vehicle.

  • What if a student does not want to live in a dorm room with a licensed carrier?

Students who are assigned to dorm rooms where a firearm is stored and who are concerned about their well being may request a transfer to another room. Please refer to the College housing contract for specific provisions concerning possession of firearms in College housing.

  • What are the requirements for an SPC approved gun safe?

When not carried on or about a person, handguns must be in a locked personal vehicle or a locked gun safe. Guns safes must meet the following requirements: 1) be large enough to fully contain all firearms placed in it and provide for secure storage; 2) have exterior walls constructed of a minimum 16-gauge steel or equivalent; 3) have high-strength locking system consisting of a mechanical or electronic combination or biometric lock, and not a key lock; 4) be certified to/listed as meeting Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container rating standards by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).