TAMU announces expansion of campus carry policy

Anusha Lalani

As the implementation date for campus carry at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University (TAMU) approaches, TAMU announced it would expand its policy not only to classrooms but to its dorms as well.

TAMU posted this announcement on its website along with a few exceptions to the policy. Three institutions within the TAMU system — Texas A&M International University, Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi — have a third-party management company that leases its residential facilities. The University acknowledges the residential facilities rights to determine what restrictions they will impose concerning weapons, and so they will be an exception to the TAMU extended policy. 

UT President Gregory Fenves, however, vowed in February to ban carry in residence halls. Steven Goode, UT law professor and chair of the Campus Carry Policy Working Group, which was established to assist Fenves with the policy before its implementation on Aug. 1, said the UT policy will not extend to on-campus dorms, with some exceptions. 

“Concealed carry is allowed in public common areas, such as dining facilities in the dorms,” Goode said. “Family members owf dorm residents may carry handguns. For example, parents who have a license may carry a handgun when visiting their child in a dorm.”

Jacob Williamson, a member of the UT chapter of Students for Concealed Carry, said he isn’t bothered by Fenves’ decision not to extend the campus carry policy to dorms because few students who are 21 or over — the age required to obtain a concealed handgun license — live in the dorms.

“It would be shocking to me if there were even two people who were above the age of 21, that had gone through and gotten their license and had also lived in the dorms,” Williamson, a computer science and electrical engineering senior, said. 

“I personally don’t mind not having them in the dorms because within a dorm setting, it’s a bit harder to keep that safely.” 

Farhan Manjiyani, a member of the organization Gun-Free UT, said the two universities implement the policy differently because the two are completely
different schools.

“Ultimately, I think both policies are logical,” Manjiyani, economics and business junior, said. “Think about it mathematically — how many students living in residence halls on campus are above the age of 21? You would have to be a junior or senior, and most of that demographic live in West Campus. So statistically, it doesn’t really matter.”