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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Officials comment on consequences, potential conflicts of Campus Carry

With Campus Carry laws now in effect, campus officials are working to ensure that new and returning Aggies are aware of the parameters of the new, state-wide legislation. 
Campus Carry, which went into effect Aug. 1, established that people with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) may now carry concealed handguns in campus buildings, with the exception of designated areas and events, such as public sporting events and counseling facilities. 
Lt. Allan Baron of the University Police Department said students will be charged if they fail to adhere to the prohibited zones.
 “A licensed [gun] holder who carries a concealed handgun into a prohibited area on campus … could be charged with ‘Trespass by a License Holder with a Concealed Handgun,’ a Class-C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $200 or a Class-A misdemeanor if the license holder received effective notice and failed to depart,” Baron said.
There are also consequences for the university if it attempts to suppress concealed carry in areas where it’s legally permitted. For example, a professor can’t ask students not to bring guns to a classroom unless it is a prohibited zone. Doing so could result in a fine to the university of up to $10,500 a day under Senate Bill 273.
Open carry of firearms is not permitted anywhere on the official Texas A&M University campus, though it is permitted in the state of Texas as of January 2016. Assistant Vice President for Safety and Security Christopher Meyer, who chaired the advisory committee on Campus Carry, said if a student sees a weapon that should be concealed they should report it.

“Concealment cannot be broken, and if it is people should contact university police and report the inci- dent,” Meyer said. “It’s the safest thing to do.”
Meyer also said students should be especially cau- tious when it comes to securing their weapons if they choose to carry.
“Security of weapons is a very important issue,” Meyer said. “The weapon must be on or about your person, and when it is not, it must be securely stored. The responsibility for doing that is on the license holder.”
While some students are strongly for Campus Carry, others are strongly against it. Cody Harel, electronic systems engineering technology Senior, expressed his view on Campus Carry.
“It’s a complicated subject…I’m no expert, but it worries me as a student to think about how I may be surrounded by things as dangerous as guns,” Harel said.
CJ Schaeffer, landscape architecture junior, also shared his view on Campus Carry.
“I stand for Campus Carry because if some- one was to shoot up the school…I think they’d be put down a lot quicker,” Schaeffer said. “It’s prob- ably more intimidating to go to a place where there are other people with guns who are willing to shoot back.”
Given the polarizing nature of Campus Carry, Bar- on said he encourages students who wish to protest the law to refer to Texas A&M Student Rules, Appendix XI: Texas A&M Rules on Freedom of Expression.
“UPD is responsible for maintaining a safe and se- cure environment for everyone, including those indi- viduals who wish to express their opinions about the new law,” Baron said. “The nature and size of the event or gathering will dictate the appropriate actions and manpower needed to maintain an atmosphere to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators.”
Officially, the A&M Student Government Associ- ation stands behind Campus Carry.
“The stance of the student government since [2014- 2015 Student Body President] Kyle Kelly signed it into effect is that student government is for the bill that supported Campus Carry,” Student Body Presi- dent Hannah Wimberly said.
While the bill has been in effect for more than three weeks, as more students have begun return to campus, the UPD will give a Campus Carry presentation 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Rudder Tower room 601.
Information about which categories of locations on campus prohibit concealed carry can be found at http://www.tamus.edu/campus-carry-rules/. 
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