University Police Department

Campus Carry Law

Campus Carry Law Frequently Asked Questions

Concealed Carry at Texas A&M University-Kingsville

  1. Why does TAMUK have a campus carry rule?
    Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11 ("campus carry"), which allows individuals with a lawfully-issued License to Carry a Handgun (“LTC”) to carry concealed handguns on Texas public institution campuses. The purpose of the campus carry rule is to provide guidance on how the law will be implemented at TAMUK while maintaining the safety of the campus community.
  2. When does the new concealed carry law take effect?
    August 1, 2016
  3. What is the difference between open carry and concealed carry?
    “Open carry” went into effect January 1, 2016, pursuant to HB 910, which allows those who have a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) to carry a handgun in plain view in a shoulder or belt holster, except where prohibited.  “Concealed carry” permits license holders to carry a handgun, completely covered from view on Texas public institution campuses, except where prohibited by the university’s rule, pursuant to Senate Bill 11.
  4. Can anybody carry a handgun on a Texas public university campus when the new law takes effect?
    Campus carry is limited to those with a lawfully issued License to Carry a Handgun (LTC).  To obtain such a license, 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.
  5. Will the new open carry law allow license holders to openly carry a handgun on campus?
    No. HB 910, the open carry law, effective January 1, 2016, provides that a handgun license holder cannot carry a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless if it is holstered, and intentionally or knowingly display the handgun in plain view of another person on the premises [building or part of a building] of a university, or any driveway, street, or parking area of a university.
  6. Are handguns the only type of firearm to which campus carry applies?
    Yes. Senate Bill 11 makes it legal for license to carry a handgun (LTC) holders to carry handguns on campus, starting Aug. 1, 2016.  Since LTCs do not permit rifles and other weapons, those items remain prohibited at TAMUK.
  7. What is the penalty for individuals who violate the campus carry law?
    Violating the campus carry law by intentionally displaying a handgun or going into a restricted gun-free area is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Individuals without a valid License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) who enter a campus building with a handgun commit a third degree felony punishable by jail time of 2 to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000.
  8. Are handguns permitted in TAMUK residence halls or apartments?
    Yes.  The law allows higher education institutions to establish rules concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential facilities.  Persons with a License to Carry (LTC) who wish to store their handgun in their residence hall room must go through the Department of University Housing & Residence Life for a handgun safe.  Please contact University Housing and Residence Life at (361) 593-3419 for more information.  Safes must be used and are available to check out.
  9. 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).
  10. What responsibility does a License to Carry a handgun (LTC) 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 license to carry a handgun (LTC) 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.
  11. Why didn't TAMUK ban handguns from classrooms?
    Senate Bill 11 states that a university president has the authority to enact "reasonable rules and regulations" but the rules may not either “generally prohibit” or “have the effect of generally prohibiting” license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus. Banning concealed handguns from classrooms would be considered a general prohibition and so would violate the law.
  12. Are there locations on campus for me to store my gun, if I’m a license holder?
    Yes, if you have a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) and are carrying, and find yourself in a location where concealed carry is not permitted, you may contact University Police at Seale Hall or by calling (361) 593-2611 to arrange for storage.
  13. What if I accidentally take my handgun into a gun-free zone?
    Those who hold a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) are expected to maintain a high level of responsibility for the care and control of their concealed handgun at all times. Any violation — even accidental — will have consequences and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
  14. What should I do if I see a handgun on campus and feel threatened?
    If you see someone carrying a handgun on campus, contact the TAMUK Police Department at 361-593-2611. Emergencies may also be reported to the Kingsville Police Department by calling 361-592-4311. 
  15. What should I do if someone takes a firearm out of his or her backpack or briefcase?
    TAMUK students, staff members, faculty members and visitors may not display their handguns on TAMUK 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 TAMUK Police Department so it can be documented and properly investigated. You can reach the TAMUK Police Department at 361-593-2611 or Kingsville Police Department at 361-592-4311.
  16. Is a handgun license holder required to respond if someone other than a peace officer or magistrate asks them if they have a handgun or license?
    No. A handgun license holder is not required to disclose that he or she has a license to anyone except a magistrate or peace officer. A person engaged in lawful activity (i.e., applying for and obtaining a handgun license) is not required to provide information to any person, including a university official, about their personal choices, beliefs, or practices.
  17. Will TAMUK require students, faculty and staff members who have a license to carry a handgun to register with the TAMUK Police Department?
    No. TAMUK will not track License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) holders.
  18. 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.
  19. Is a handgun license holder required to display identification if asked to by a magistrate or a peace officer?
    Yes. The license holder shall display both a driver's license or identification certificate issued by DPS, and the license holder's handgun license. Texas Government Code § 411.205.
  20. What should I do if I see a classmate with a gun?
    TAMUK prohibits the visible display of handguns. Contact the TAMUK Police Department if you have a concern that you wish to report.
  21. Can I ask someone with a concealed weapon 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.
  22. Can faculty members ask their students if they have a license to carry a handgun?
    Faculty members may ask, but students are not required to provide that information. 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, attempt to coerce students into revealing their concealed carry status or pressure them to answer concealed carry queries.
  23. Can individual faculty or staff members post signage that prohibits handguns in their offices or classrooms?
    No. President Tallant approved a campus carry rule that designates TAMUK’s exclusion zones. Leading up to August 1, TAMUK will install signage indicating which areas of the university are handgun free. The campus carry task force took great care to balance adherence to the law with the safety of the campus community.
  24. Can I personally make a rule that someone who has a license to carry a handgun cannot carry it into my office, classroom, or laboratory?
    No. Effective August 1, 2016, concealed carry is allowed on university campuses, including all offices, classrooms, and laboratories by anyone holding a valid license to carry a handgun (LTC), unless carrying a handgun is prohibited by state law, federal law, or university rules. SB 273 prohibits the university and its employees from imposing restrictions greater than those imposed by law. Violations of SB 273 can result in a fine to the university as high as $10,500 per day.
  25. 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 handgun (with a concealed carry permit as authorized by law) is not, in and of itself, a disruption of class activity. Concealed carry permit holders should not be excluded from class under any supposition that their presence alone is a “disruption.” 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.
  26. Can a supervisor request a list of employees who have a license to carry a handgun?
    No. This information is not a matter of public record.
  27. Can an international student legally in Texas on a student visa obtain a CHL?
    No. To obtain a Texas Concealed Handgun License you must be qualified under state and federal law to purchase a handgun. See Texas Government Code 411.172.  An international student here on a student visa is prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition unless they meet certain exceptions; for example, they are admitted to the U.S. for lawful hunting or sporting purposes. There are other exceptions. See 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B) and 922(y)(2).
  28. Can an undocumented student apply for a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) from the DPS?
    No. To obtain a LTC, an individual must first be a legal Texas resident for six months. Undocumented students are not legal Texas residents.
  29. Is concealed carry allowed in locations where alcohol is present?
    Yes, the presence of alcohol does not automatically prohibit concealed carry.  Look for signs to see if the venue is a designated no-carry zone.  The law related to alcohol and concealed carry is that the LTC holder cannot carry while intoxicated. 
  30. Can licensed holders carry on a university-sponsored field trip?
    It depends on the field trip destination.  While those with a Licence to Carry a Handgun (LTC) may carry on campus or in university vehicles, you should find out the rules for the location where the field trip is to occur. Know before you go!
  31. If I’m going to Javelina Stadium for a concert, and I have an LTC, may I have my gun with me at the concert?
    It depends on the event.  Javelina Stadium is a concealed carry permissible location unless there is an interscholastic sporting event, intercollegiate sporting event, professional sporting event, a UIL or Interscholastic event hosted by the University where minors are the primary attendees/audience; or athletic or marching band practice when Academy High School is holding practice for football, track & field or marching band.
  32. What happens if I am at an off-campus event, sponsored by a TAMUK registered student organization, and someone shows a gun? Is that okay since they are not on campus?
    Your location would determine whether open carry is legal. If you encounter a situation at a TAMUK-sponsored event that makes you uncomfortable, you should speak with the TAMUK staff member who oversees the group that held the event. If you're unaware of what type of TAMUK event it was, contact UPD.
  33. I'm a new TAMUK student and I plan to attend Hoggie Days. Can I bring my concealed handgun with me?
    Concealed handguns will be permitted on public university campuses starting Aug. 1, 2016.  If you have a lawfully issued LTC, you may bring your concealed handgun to Hoggie Days, or any other, activities that occur August 1, 2016 or later in concealed carry permissible locations on campus.
  34. I'm a LTC holder and I take classes at TAMUK and at the MITC, STC or other off-campus locations. Will I be allowed to carry at those alternate locations?
    You need to follow the rules of the location where you will be attending, as they may be different.  Know before you go!
  35. How many people have a concealed handgun license in Texas?
    As of December 31, 2015, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported that there were 937,419 active concealed handgun license holders. The population of Texas was approximately 27.47 million in 2015; 2.9% held an LTC.
  36. I'm a LTC holder in another state and I'm aware that Texas has reciprocity with my state. Will that be recognized in TAMUK’s new campus carry policy?
    Forty-two states have reciprocity with Texas. However, while at TAMUK, those license holders must follow Texas law.
  37. How do I file a complaint about the university’s implementation of the law?
    Please send an email to or contact J. Randy Hughes, Chief of Staff at (361) 593-3207.