SMU Blocks ‘Campus Carry,' to Remain Weapon Free

Texas' "Campus Carry" law will not extend to the campus of Dallas' Southern Methodist University, according to SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

In a letter to students, faculty and employees, Turner said the campus will remain "weapons free" when the state's campus carry law goes into effect on Aug. 1, 2016.

"After hearing from more than 1,300 students as well as from faculty and staff, I can now inform you that SMU will remain weapons free, as it has been since at least 1994. Although the final decision rested with me, it was made in consultation with the SMU board of trustees," Turner said in the letter.

Turner said several university groups, including the offices of legal affairs, student affairs, student senate and others, were polled on the topic, with feedback overwhelmingly in favor of the campus remaining weapons free, Turner said.

"More than two-thirds of students who responded to the Student Senate letter said they favored SMU remaining a weapons-free campus. In addition, faculty, staff and students supported SMU remaining weapons free by 10 to 1 in their online responses. The Faculty Senate also supported opting out by a large margin, with 17 voting in favor, three against and three abstaining," Turner said.

Texas' Campus Carry law (SB 11) is not to be confused with the Open Carry law going into effect Jan. 1, 2016. Open Carry allows an individual to openly carry a handgun into the same places that allow the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun, with a few exceptions — one being private or public institutions of higher learning.

Campus Carry allows Texas colleges and universities to establish rules and regulations that either allow or prohibit carrying concealed weapons on campus.

In November, Texas Christian University in Fort Worth announced their board of trustees voted to opt out of the campus carry law. Meanwhile, other schools are evaluating the law and are doing research before determining how to go forward.

Campus Carry Policies and Status

Businesses and other places who want to prohibit either Open Carry or concealed weapons must display signs prohibiting those weapons in both English and Spanish.

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