EL PASO, Texas— A state law that allows licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns in higher education institutions is expanding to community colleges across Texas starting Tuesday.
Texas Senate Bill 11, also known as the Campus Carry Law, allows people with a license to carry a concealed handgun on the grounds and in the buildings of colleges and universities. The law went into effect for four-year universities in August 2016 but community colleges were given an extra year to comply.
Private colleges and universities can opt out.
Handguns now will be allowed on all college and university campuses statewide for licensed carriers, but the pistols must be worn under clothing or placed in a purse or pack that a person is carrying. Openly showing a gun, including in a holster that is substantially visible, anywhere on campus still will be illegal.
People must be at least 21 years old to obtain a concealed carry license in Texas.
Community colleges are allowed to have gun-free zones, including college child care centers, patient care facilities, science labs, intercollegiate athletic events and individual assigned offices.
Texas has about 1.15 million active gun-license holders, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Most applicants who received their license this past fiscal year were 43 to 61 years old.
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