A bill passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year will permit concealed handguns on Texas public university campuses, effective August 1, 2016.
Chancellor William H. McRaven has directed each of the UT System institutions to establish campus-specific policies for implementing the law, and our task force — which is comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives — is working to develop policies that are appropriate for UT Health Science Center.
During September and October, we are holding a number of campus listening sessions as we seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited. We have also created this website to keep you updated on the development of our campus carry policy.
In November, we will present our recommendations to UT Health executive leadership. Early next year, we will share our recommendations with the UT System Board of Regents.
Review the information within this section of the website and submit your suggestions. By working together, we will develop a campus carry policy that allows us to follow the new law while balancing the concerns that have been expressed by the UT Health community.
Chief of Police, UT Health Science Center
Chair, Campus Carry Task Force
The possession of weapons including the open carry of firearms, illegal, knives, clubs explosive devices, etc. anywhere on the UT Health Science Center property is strictly forbidden and constitutes a violation of state statute.
UT Health respects the Federal and Texas Constitutions, both of which recognize Texas citizens’ right to keep and bear arms and the Texas Legislature’s power to regulate the wearing of Handguns. UT Health also recognizes its right under the Campus Carry Law to implement its own reasonable rules, regulations, and other provisions regarding the carriage on its premises of Concealed Handguns by holders of Concealed Handgun Licenses (“CHL Holders”). In seeking to fulfill its obligations under the Campus Carry Law to determine appropriate Exclusion Zones and permitted Concealed Handgun License Zones (“CHL Zones”), UT Health strives to recognize CHL Holders’ rights in the context of: (1) the nature of UT Health’s faculty, student, administrator, patient, and patient family populations; (2) specific safety considerations; (3) the uniqueness of UT Health’s Campus environment; (4) applicable laws and contractual obligations; (5) issues of practical implementation; and (6) ease of compliance and reasonable administration and enforcement. UT Health believes this policy respects the rights and interests of all stakeholders and achieves a fair and balanced approach to carrying of Concealed Handguns by CHL Holders on its Campus.
THIS POLICY DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE OPEN CARRY OF A HANDGUN ON UTHSCT’S CAMPUS, AND THE OPEN CARRYING OF A HANDGUN IS PROHIBITED ON UT HEALTH’S CAMPUS.
Exclusion Zones Specific to UT Health Campus
- A Building patient care areas, including Emergency Room and Behavioral Health Intake
- F Building Pediatric Behavioral Health and Cystic Fibrosis patient care areas
- E Building (Riter Center) patient care areas
- Academic Center 1st and 2nd Floor patient care areas
- Biomedical Research building
- Intensive Outpatient Psychiatry (IOP) Building in Longview
- Public Health Laboratory of East Texas (PHLET) building
- AA Building which encompasses Surgery, Day Surgery, and Rehabilitation Services patient care areas
- Outpatient Care Clinics located in Overton, Lindale, University Health Clinic (UHC) Tyler, and North Tyler Clinic
- Analogous to government court, areas in which formal disciplinary hearings are being held. Hearing notices will include a statement informing participants that weapons are not permitted in hearings. Hearings may take place in a variety of spaces which best meet the needs of each particular hearing. Considering the infrequency of formal disciplinary hearings and varying locations, temporary notices will be placed at the entrance of the room in which the hearing is being held.