Campus Carry FAQs
+ What is concealed carry?
  • The Texas Department of Public Safety defines a concealed handgun as a handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person. This same definition is utilized at El Paso Community College (EPCC). At all times, the handgun must be on or about the license holder’s body or secured and concealed safely. An individual’s right to carry a concealed handgun is governed by specific legislative and institutional requirements.
+ Is concealed carry allowed throughout campus?
  • The EPCC President has been given the authority to enact “reasonable rules and regulations” pertaining to campus carry but the rules may not either “generally prohibit” or “have the effect of generally prohibiting” license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus. EPCC has identified a number of Gun Free Zones where handguns will not be permitted, including but not limited to:
    • College Child Care Centers
    • Patient Care Facilities
    • Select Research Labs
    • Intercollegiate Athletic Events
    • Individual Assigned Offices
+ Can I ban handguns in my private office?
  • Individual occupants assigned to an office that is generally not open to the public should be allowed, at the individual occupant’s discretion, to prohibit the carrying of a concealed handgun in that office. Oral notice (not written) must be provided that concealed carry of a handgun is prohibited in the occupant’s office. Further, in the disposition of official duties, reasonable arrangements must be made to meet at another location if occupant prohibits the concealed carry of a handgun.

    Individual office occupants, who have been solely assigned a space generally not open to the public, have been granted responsibility and substantial control over their office space. The maintenance of office security rests solely on the individual office occupant, as is recognized through the issuing of office keys. Traditionally, individual office occupants have exercised, at their discretion, who may or may not enter their office.

    Since signage conforming to Texas Penal Code § 30.06 may create confusion and present challenges to the law, it is recommended that verbal notification be the sole requirement restricting the carry of concealed weapons in individual assigned offices.

+ What are my responsibilities as a CHL holder while at EPCC?
  • Individuals who are licensed and desire to carry a concealed handgun on campus are responsible for knowing where their handguns are at all times and which locations on campus are Gun Free Zones. Individuals must also make appropriate decisions relating to make appropriate decisions relating to gun storage when the handgun is not “on or about their body” and in their direct control. The Concealed carry law does not require institutions to provide storage units or other similar accommodations to license holders. Existing lockers, cabinets, closets and furnishings are property of EPCC and do not meet the definition of providing safe storage and cannot be used to safely store a handgun. At all times, the responsibility for maintaining ownership and control of a concealed handgun rests with the holder. When not the direct possession of the license holder, handguns must be concealed and locked in the owner’s private automobile or safely and securely stored by other means.
+ Why does EPCC need a campus carry policy?
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11 (“campus carry”), which allows for the carrying of concealed handguns on Texas public institution campuses by license to carry (LTC) holders. The purpose of the campus carry policy is to provide guidance on how the law will be implemented at EPCC while maintaining the safety of our campus community.
+When does the new law take effect?
  • Campus carry will take effect on Aug. 1, 2017, although EPCC will be putting plans in place months ahead of that date to educate and inform the campus community.
+Can anybody carry a handgun on a Texas public college campus when the new law takes place?
  • Campus carry is limited to license to carry (LTC) holders. To obtain a license to carry, a person must be 21 years old (with the exception of active duty military and police officers), meet state and federal qualifications to own a handgun and receive training from a LTC instructor that is certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
+Are handguns the only type of firearm to which campus carry applies?
  • Yes. Senate Bill 11 makes it legal for license to carry (LTC) holders to carry handguns on campus, starting Aug. 1, 2017. Since LTCs do not permit rifles and other weapons, those items remain prohibited at EPCC.
+Who will develop EPCC’s campus carry policy?
  • EPCC President William Serrata has appointed a campus carry task force comprised of EPCC students, administrators, faculty and staff members, and community stakeholders. Forums will also be organized to allow the larger EPCC community an opportunity to share its suggestions on the institution’s campus carry policy.
    The task force will make recommendations to President Serrata in fall 2016. The El Paso Community College Board of Trustees must also approve EPCC’s proposed campus carry policy.
+What kinds of things will the EPCC task force consider when it develops the institution’s campus carry policy?
  • Senate Bill 11 gives the presidents of Texas’ public colleges the option to designate handgun-free zones on their campuses. EPCC’s task force will consider areas that could be designated as gun-free zones, how and where to place signage to notify the EPCC community and visitors about the law, and how to educate the campus community about the new law.
+I have suggestions about where we should permit handguns on campus and where to exclude them. How do I send my thoughts directly to the EPCC campus carry task force?
  • You can share your ideas with the EPCC campus carry task force by using the suggestions form here: Gun Free Zone Suggestions
+Is there a difference between campus carry and open carry?
  • Yes. Texas Senate Bill 11 – known as “campus carry” – becomes law on Aug. 1, 2017 and allows people with a license to carry (LTC) to carry concealed handguns in permitted areas on campus. The handguns must remain concealed.
    Texas House Bill 910 – known as “open carry” – becomes law on Jan. 1, 2016 and makes it legal for LTC holders to carry visible handguns in the state of Texas. However, open carry would not apply at public colleges, including EPCC, so even when both laws go into effect, individuals will not be allowed to carry visible handguns at EPCC.
+I don’t have a license to carry a handgun, but I own a handgun and I’m a safe person. Why can’t I bring my handgun on campus?
  • Beginning August 1, 2017, Texas Senate Bill 11 allows only individuals with a license to carry (LTC) to carry a weapon on a community or junior college campus. It’s the law, and as a public college, we must follow the law.
+How do I obtain a LTC?
  • The Texas Department of Public Safety administers the license to carry program. Visit www.txdps.state.tx.us and click on the “handgun licensing” link for more information.
+How do I find out more about campus safety at EPCC?
  • In adherence to the Clery Act, EPCC posts annual security reports on the Police Department website. To view the most recent Clery data, visit www.epcc.edu/Police and click on the appropriate link on the web page.
+What Do I do if I see a handgun or other type of weapon at EPCC?
  • Call the EPCC Police at 831-2200 or dial 911 if you see any individual on campus with a handgun or other type of weapon. EPCC Police will respond and resolve the situation appropriately. Violations of the concealed carry policy will be adjudicated through the campus conduct process and/or the legal system.
+If I suspect that someone is carrying a concealed handgun, can I ask if he or she has the appropriate permit?
  • Yes. Anyone may ask, but the individual asked is not required to reply unless asked by a police officer.
+Can faculty members ask their students if they have concealed carry permits?
  • Faculty members may ask, but students are not required to provide that information, and faculty members may not take any action against a student who chooses not to answer. Any voluntary reporting by a student to a faculty member about his/her concealed carry permit status should be done privately. Faculty members should not, under any circumstances, coerce students into revealing their concealed carry status or pressure them to answer concealed carry queries.
+Can a member of the college community post signage that prohibits handguns in their offices or classrooms?
  • No. All of EPCC’s gun-free zones will be designated by the EPCC President and approved by the Board of Trustees. As EPCC develops its campus carry policy, it is taking great care to balance adherence to the law with the safety of the campus community.
+Can a student who legally possesses a concealed handgun be excluded from the classroom on the grounds that the student’s presence and his or her concealed weapon constitute a class disruption?
  • No. The mere act of carrying a concealed handgun (with a LTC permit as authorized by law) is not in and of itself a disruption of class activity. Likewise, another person’s adverse reaction to someone carrying a handgun in accordance with the concealed carry act is not grounds to eject the permit-holder from the classroom.
+Can a supervisor request a list of employees who have a concealed carry permit?
  • No. This information is not a matter of public record.
+Where does a weapon need to be in order to be legally considered “concealed”? Can a weapon be in a backpack or purse, or does it need to be directly on a person’s body or within reaching distance of the person?
  • The law does not expressly state where a weapon needs to be in order to be considered “concealed.” The weapon cannot be in plain view or discernable by ordinary observation. Further, the weapon must be on the license holder’s person or in close proximity (as to be readily accessible).
+What responsibility does a license to carry permit holder have to keep his or her weapon concealed? Are LTC holders violating the terms of their permit if someone gets a glimpse of their weapon?
  • A person with a concealed carry permit must conceal the weapon. If a person’s coat opens in the act of raising his or her arm to ask a question, for example, and a handgun can be seen, it is not a violation. A violation would occur when a person knowingly and intentionally displays the handgun in plain view of another person.
+What should I do if a student takes a firearm out of his or her backpack?
  • EPCC students, staff members, faculty members and visitors may not display their handguns on EPCC campuses. They must keep their handguns concealed at all times, barring life-threatening emergencies. If you see a handgun on campus, it should be reported to the EPCC Police Department so it can be documented and properly investigated. You can reach the EPCC Police Department at (915) 831-2000 or 911.
+What happens if I am at an off-campus event, sponsored by an EPCC registered student organization, and someone shows a gun? Is that okay since they are not on campus?
  • Handguns must remain concealed. If you encounter a situation at an EPCC-sponsored event, you should speak with the staff member who oversees the group that held the event. If you’re unaware of what type of EPCC event it was, contact the Office of Campus Life at (915) 831-2108.
+Can I bring my handgun with me on a walking tour of the EPCC campuses?
  • If you have a valid license to carry (LTC) and you keep your handgun concealed, you may bring your handgun on campus starting Aug. 1, 2017. However, you may not display it publicly.
+Are guns allowed in the Early College Campuses or YWCA Day Care Center on the Valle Verde Campus?
  • No, guns will not be allowed at the Early College High School or the Day Care Center.
+Will handguns be permitted at EPCC during finals week?
  • Starting Aug. 1, 2017, handguns will be permitted at EPCC. The new state law allows concealed handgun permit holders to carry their weapon at any time.
+I heard that EPCC won’t let concealed handguns into places that serve alcohol.
  • Texas has an existing law that relates to concealed carry and venues that serve alcohol.
+How will EPCC manage someone who has a gun on campus and is exhibiting threatening behavior?
  • It is a criminal act to exhibit threatening behavior with a gun, regardless of the individual’s concealed carry permit status. When a crime is committed on campus, EPCC police officers will respond and take appropriate law enforcement action.
+Does a police officer have the right to disarm me?
  • 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.
+May I use my weapon as a means of defense if there are shots being fired?
  • A weapon may be used in self-defense only as allowed by law. By doing so, the person acting is doing so as a private citizen and not as an authorized agent of EPCC.
+What can I do to prepare for the new law?
  • The EPCC Police Department will offer training classes through the academic year for students, faculty members, and staff members about how to properly respond to a report of a person with a gun or an active shooter event. You are encouraged to attend one or more of these training sessions.
+If an incident occurs in my classroom with a person with a handgun, what should I do?
  • Do not confront the person; call Police. Help others to escape and run away if you can. Otherwise conceal yourself. Fight back if you have no choice. If you encounter police officers, follow their instructions.
+I’m a LTC holder in another state and I’m aware that Texas has reciprocity with my state. Will that be recognized in EPCC’s new campus carry policy?
  • EPCC is awaiting direction about how reciprocity agreements with other states should be enforced at public universities/colleges in Texas. As we learn more, we will update our Campus Carry webpage.