Are guns currently allowed on Kilgore College campuses?
Until the Campus Carry law goes into effect for the Fall 2017 semester, firearms are not permitted to be carried in any Kilgore College building regardless of whether they are carried openly or concealed or if the individual has a concealed handgun license. Kilgore College cannot legally restrict licensed holders from carrying a concealed firearm in public spaces such as streets, driveways, sidewalks or parking lots.
What is Texas’ “Campus Carry” law?
S.B. 11 will take effect August 1, 2017; the law authorizes individuals licensed to carry a handgun to carry a concealed handgun at a public junior college or public community college except in exclusionary areas established by the institution. This law is codified as Section 411.2031, Texas Government Code.
Will anyone be able to carry a concealed handgun on a Kilgore College campus or on property owned or leased by Kilgore College?
No. The law does not grant a universal right to carry a concealed handgun on campus. The law applies only to handgun licensees.
Does a police officer have the right to disarm a handgun licensee?
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.
Does the law allow Kilgore College to create policies regarding campus carry?
Yes. The law allows colleges to adopt policies that prohibit license holders from carrying concealed handguns in some areas of the campus and to certain college-sponsored events providing the restrictions do not have the effect of generally preventing a license holder from carrying a concealed handgun on campus.
Is there a difference between concealed carry and open carry?
Yes. A person must receive a license from the Texas Department of Public Safety in order to lawfully carry a concealed handgun. The handgun must be carried on or about the license holder’s body at all times and the handgun cannot be openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.
A person also needs a license to carry from the state to openly carry a handgun in Texas, however, open carry is prohibited on the campuses of all Texas public colleges, including Kilgore College. Open carry means the individual does not have to conceal the handgun from view as it is "open" for the public to see. Texas House Bill 910 — known as "open carry" — became law on Jan. 1, 2016.
Will "open carry" be allowed on Kilgore College campuses?
No type of firearm can be carried openly on a college campus except by law enforcement officers. Even individuals who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun will have to keep the weapon out of view when carrying the handgun on campus, including buildings, public driveways, streets, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, and parking garages or other parking areas on campus.
How will I know areas on campus where concealed handguns are not allowed?
Colleges must post signage at all places and events where their policies will prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns.
Are handguns the only type of firearm to which campus carry applies?
Yes. Senate Bill 11 will make it legal for licensed holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, but not rifles and other weapons. Those items remain prohibited at Kilgore College.
Where at Kilgore College will I be allowed to carry a handgun?
The Kilgore College Board of Trustees is expected to adopt a policy regarding campus carry in Spring 2017. The Kilgore College Campus Carry Task Force will develop an implementation plan, which will include feedback from faculty, staff, and students. Once adopted, Kilgore College’s campus carry policies will be distributed to faculty, staff, students, and the community, and will be posted on the Kilgore College website. Per state law, Kilgore will submit a report to the legislature describing the college’s rules, regulations, and other provisions regarding concealed carry.
How do Kilgore College’s Campus Carry policies and procedures differ from those at Texas public universities?
While Senate Bill 11 calls for four-year universities to have Campus Carry policies and procedures in place by August 1, 2016, the effective date for community colleges such as Kilgore College is August 1, 2017. Until the Campus Carry law goes into effect at Kilgore College for the Fall 2017 semester, firearms are not permitted to be carried on any Kilgore College campus regardless of whether they are carried openly or concealed or if the individual has a concealed handgun license. Concealed Handgun License holders may store or transport a firearm or ammunition in a locked, private motor vehicle located on a street, driveway, parking lot, or other parking area on campus.
What if I see a gun that is not fully concealed or I suspect a person is carrying a gun illegally on campus?
Contact the Kilgore College Police Department at (903) 983-8650 or DIAL 911.