UT San Antonio Faculty, Staff Can Have Gun-Free Offices

The Texas campus carry law goes into effect on August 1, and just days earlier, the president of the University of Texas San Antonio, Ricardo Romo, has announced that faculty and staff may designate their offices as gun-free zones if they so choose, according to this story from sacurrent.com.

Romo’s announcement mirrors a decision made by UT-Austin regents who voted to allow professors to ban concealed carry firearms from private offices earlier this month.

At UTSA, the story says faculty and staff must give verbal notification that concealed handguns aren't allowed and, if possible, provide written notification. Romo said the decision is in response to faculty and staff concerns.

The Texas state legislature passed Senate Bill 11 last year, which allows concealed license holders in the state (who must be 21 under existing laws) to carry their firearms on public college campuses, including classrooms. UTSA's decision is in compliance with the provisions of the law, the story says.

In San Antonio the only campuses affected by the law are UTSA and Texas A&M San Antonio. Two-year campuses are required to implement campus carry on August 1, 2017. Private schools are allowed to opt out, and most have, including the University of Incarnate Word and Our Lady of the Lake University.

The story says the university sent a reminder to all students about the law on Tuesday. Once the fall semester gets underway late next month, faculty, staff, and students will be notified of required online training that will walk them through UTSA's campus carry policies.

In addition to private offices at UTSA, residence halls and housing units are off limits for concealed carriers, along with labs that have dangerous and flammable substances in them. Counseling and health services centers are no-gun zones, along with child care facilities, sporting venues, and youth events.