Where Texas’ Private Universities Stand on Campus Carry

By Matthew Watkins and Ryan Murphy | Last updated: May 25, 2016

Next school year, Texans with concealed handgun licenses will be allowed to carry guns inside buildings on public university campuses. Private schools, meanwhile, are allowed to opt out of the campus carry law. They have until Aug. 1 to make up their minds. Here’s where each school stands right now.

We will continue to update this list as more schools make their decisions. See something that needs updating? Email mwatkins@texastribune.org.

Jump to a university:

Abilene Christian University

Abilene, TX

Will not allow campus carry

The decision was made after very thorough consultation that senior administration had with students, staff and faculty over the past several months, which produced great dialogue, perspective and respectfully submitted opinions on the issue of campus carry. The ACU senior administration respects all views on this sometimes divisive topic but felt that maintaining a gun-free campus was in the best interest of the campus community and is thankful to have a 24/7 campus police department available to respond to situations should they arise.

Jimmy Ellison, police chief

Amberton University

Garland, TX

Undecided on campus carry

Amberton University will announce its decision in spring 2016 in advance of the summer 2016 session, which begins in June.

Melinda Reagan, president

Austin College

Sherman, TX

Will not allow campus carry

On Oct. 31, 2015, Austin College completed the consultation process with staff, students, faculty, key personnel and our Board of Trustees to review our current policy, which prohibits firearms on campus. We will opt out of SB 11 and continue with our current policy.

Lynn Z. Womble, university spokeswoman

Baylor University

Waco, TX

Will not allow campus carry

My own view is that it is a very unwise public policy, with all due respect to those who feel strongly (and) very, very rooted in constitutional values as they see them.

Ken Starr, president

Concordia University Texas

Austin, TX

Will not allow campus carry

University leadership believes concealed handguns on campus present significant concerns and are not conducive to a positive learning environment.

Donald Christian, president

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, TX

Undecided on campus carry

We currently have not made a decision concerning the “campus carry” law on the DBU campus. A decision in regard to this will be made later in the spring.

Blake Killingsworth, university spokesman

East Texas Baptist University

Marshall, TX

Will not allow campus carry, with caveats

Some staff and faculty will be allowed to carry guns if they receive approval from the president, submit to a psychological evaluation and participate in annual active shooter response training.

We have collectively determined that the Opt Out, Authorize In provides the greatest level of safety and security to our student body and university community.

Blair Blackburn, president

Hardin-Simmons University

Abilene, TX

Will not allow campus carry

The University has decided to opt-out in a way that is consistent with our current system of operation. We’re going to operate as we have been.

Dave Rozeboom, vice president for student life

Houston Baptist University

Houston, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Continuing our existing policy for the time being would seem to best serve the interests of this University.

Robert B. Sloan, president

Howard Payne University

Brownwood, TX

Will not allow campus carry

HPU’s Board of Trustees voted at a regularly scheduled meeting March 21-22 to exercise the right to opt out of Texas’ campus carry law, and to retain our current campus policies, regarding weapons on our campus.

Coby Kestner Sauce, university spokeswoman

Huston-Tillotson University

Austin, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Jarvis Christian College

Hawkins, TX

Will not allow campus carry

We respect the laws of Texas, but Jarvis Christian College will still be gun-free.

Marcus Chanay, vice president of student services (via Fox 10)

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX

Will not allow campus carry

LeTourneau has decided to continue with its policy to prohibit firearms of any kind, university President Dale Lunsford said.

Longview News Journal (via Longview News Journal)

Lubbock Christian University

Lubbock, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Lubbock Christian University places a high priority on safety, seeking to create a secure environment on its campus for students, faculty, staff, and guests. I’m deeply grateful for all of the invaluable feedback that was shared during the consultation period.

Tim Perrin, president

McMurry University

Abilene, TX

Will not allow campus carry

After consultation with students, faculty and staff, the McMurry University Board of Trustees has voted to continue its current policy of banning firearms and other prohibited weapons from the campus grounds and buildings.

Gary Ellison, university spokesman

Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio

San Antonio, TX

Will not allow campus carry

I am very proud of the many thoughtful voices that came forward from our campus community representing all perspectives on this important topic. We listened and took their views to heart.

Diane Melby, president (via News 4 San Antonio)

Paul Quinn College

Dallas, TX

Will not allow campus carry

I don’t ever want to be a college president who has to call a parent and tell them that their child has been shot on campus.

Michael Sorrell, president

Rice University

Houston, TX

Will not allow campus carry

There is no evidence that allowing the carrying of guns on our campus will make the campus safer.

David Leebron, president

Schreiner University

Kerrville, TX

Will not allow campus carry

After a thoughtful consultative process with students, faculty and staff, we presented a recommendation to the board that we continue our current policy of not allowing weapons on campus and the board approved that today.

Tim Summerlin, president

South Texas College of Law

Houston, TX

Will not allow campus carry

South Texas College of Law/Houston has decided to opt out of the campus carry law. We have placed signage at our entrances alerting students, faculty/staff and visitors of this decision.

Claire Caton, university spokeswoman

Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX

Will not allow campus carry

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 [a ratio of] 10 to 1 in their online responses.

R. Gerald Turner, president

Southwestern Adventist University

Keene, TX

Did not respond

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Waxahachie, TX

Undecided on campus carry

We are a weapons-free campus. We are in discussion currently, but I’m not sure when a decision will be made.

William Elliott, university spokesman

Southwestern Christian College

Terrell, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Southwestern University

Georgetown, TX

Will not allow campus carry

The safety and well-being of our students are of utmost importance at Southwestern University. Our long-standing policy states that the possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives on campus is strictly prohibited.

Edward Burger, president

St. Edward’s University

Austin, TX

Will not allow campus carry

St. Edward’s University intends to follow the process, prescribed by law, to opt out and will continue to prohibit weapons or firearms on campus or campus-related activities at all times.

Statement on the university website

St. Mary’s University

San Antonio, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Our current policy of prohibiting the carrying of a handgun while on campus, and our excellent police force, have helped to maintain a safe and secure campus.

Thomas Mengler, president (via WOAI)

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX

Will not allow campus carry

It was quite clear that no matter which side of the issue each person felt was best, all cared deeply about the safety of the community.

Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for student affairs

Texas College

Tyler, TX

Will not allow campus carry

We will not allow open carry of any firearms on our campus.

Christie Howard, university spokeswoman

Texas Lutheran University

Seguin, TX

Will not allow campus carry

The consensus among all groups — faculty, students, staff and campus police — was a desire to preserve our current policy. I agree that prohibiting concealed weapons on our campus continues to be in the best interests of all those who work and study at Texas Lutheran.

Stuart Dorsey, president

Texas Wesleyan University

Fort Worth, TX

Will not allow campus carry

The feedback received from members of our campus community was overwhelmingly in favor of remaining a gun-free campus.

Frederick Slabach, president

Trinity University

San Antonio, TX

Will not allow campus carry

The safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors is our highest priority. A weapons-free environment is the best learning environment for a residential campus like Trinity University.

Danny Anderson, president

University of Dallas

Irving, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Because the safety of University of Dallas faculty, staff and students is my highest priority, I have decided, with Board of Trustees support, to continue our current weapons policy by opting out of the ‘campus carry’ legislation. My decision, which will maintain a gun-free campus, was based on a significant amount of thoughtful feedback from the most affected internal constituents. I especially would like to acknowledge the efforts of Student Government and the Faculty Senate for the integral role each organization played in helping the institution weigh the risks and benefits of this decision.

Thomas W. Keefe, president

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Belton, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Our current policy is that guns are not allowed on campus.

James Stafford, university spokesman

University of St. Thomas

Houston, TX

Will not allow campus carry

The safety of each of us is our university's most basic responsibility.

Robert Ivany, president

University of the Incarnate Word

San Antonio, TX

Will not allow campus carry

This past October and November, a survey was sent to students, faculty, and staff. The survey response overwhelmingly expressed that UIW should opt out and continue to ban concealed handguns from campus as permitted by the statute.

President Lou Agnese

Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX

Will not allow campus carry

We plan to maintain our current policy that prohibits guns on campus with the exception of the university police force. That is not to say that the issue will not be addressed at a later date by our governing body, but there are no plans to change the policy at this time.

Jonathan Petty, university spokesman

Wiley College

Marshall, TX

Will not allow campus carry

Wiley College is a gun-free campus, and we continue to uphold our weapons prohibitions policy

Tammy Taylor, university spokeswoman (via Longview News Journal)

Disclosure: St. Mary’s University School of Law is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Rice University was a corporate sponsor of the Tribune in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Concordia University and Southern Methodist University were corporate sponsors of the Tribune in 2013. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.