Parsing the Campus Carry Act

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oohrah
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Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby oohrah » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:40 pm

I have had a personal interest in this matter since I work on the campuses of institutions of higher education (public junior college, and private university). In trying to filter out the requirements of SB 11, I have discovered some possible conflicts in the law which I cannot resolve. I have highlighted those in RED below.

For those who are interested, here are the salient points I have gleaned:

Campus Carry Notes from SB 11

1. The Act is effective August 1, 2016, except the Act does not apply to a public junior college until August 1, 2017.

2. Both public and private institutions will have to post 30.06 to identify the places where concealed carry is not allowed - 411.2031 (d-1), and 46.035 (a-2) and (a-3).

3. 46.035 (a-1) prohibits open carry, i.e., cannot carry partially or wholly visible …; and intentionally display the handgun in plain view …

4. 46.035 (g) An offense under Subsection (a), (a-1), (a-2), (a-3), (b), (c), (d), or (e) is a Class A misdemeanor. (a-1) refers to open carry on campus, (a-2) refers to private institutions posting 30.06, (a-3) refers to public institutions posting 30.06.
a. However, HB 910 appears to override this in the new Sec 30.06 (d) which makes the offense a Class C misdemeanor (a fine not to exceed $200). Does this mean even though a campus is posted 30.06, it will only be a Class C (unless asked to leave), or does 46.035(g) take precedence?
b. HB 910 was passed on May 22nd, and SB 11 was passed on May 27th. Does that make any difference?
ADDED: As explained below, even though 30.06 will be a Class C after 1/1/16, violating 46.035(g) will be a Class A, a separate offense.

5. Sec 46.035 (b)(2) no longer applies to collegiate sporting events, unless posted 30.06.

6. Sec 46.035, new (a-2) prohibits carry on “campus” of a private institution if given 30.06 notice. “Campus” is defined by 411.2031 – “Campus means all land and buildings owned or leased by …”. This is different from the current 46.03 (a) which prohibits a firearm (1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution.
a. 46.035 (f)(3) “Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
b. Does this imply that now 30.06 can be used to prohibit concealed carry on the grounds, even when not being used as a school activity? This seems like a step back.
ADDED: Private campuses I assume have always had the right to post 30.06 on their grounds, although I've never seen it. I wonder if they will think of that when posting buildings?

7. It appears that the “Parking Lot Law”, 411.2032 (allows licensees to keep their firearm locked in their vehicle on campus) is not affected by any of these changes.

Any comments about the accuracy of this, or answers to my questions will be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by oohrah on Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby srothstein » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:35 pm

One of the problems with the law is that it allows for multiple offenses for the same act. For example, on your first question in red, you note that 46.035 still allows some places to be posted to not allow you to carry a weapon. It requires a sign warning of 30.06 violations to do so. If a location in 46.035 is properly posted for 30.06 and you are caught violating that posting, you can be charged with 2 offenses. The first offense is the violation of 46.035 and the second offense is the violation of 30.06. If you are just caught and not asked to leave, the 30.06 violation would be a class C misdemeanor but the 46.035 vitiation is still a class A misdemeanor.

I am going to have to look closer at the new law before I can answer your second question. Maybe someone else can do that.
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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby Bladed » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:25 pm

oohrah wrote:I have had a personal interest in this matter since I work on the campuses of institutions of higher education (public junior college, and private university). In trying to filter out the requirements of SB 11, I have discovered some possible conflicts in the law which I cannot resolve. I have highlighted those in RED below.

For those who are interested, here are the salient points I have gleaned:

Campus Carry Notes from SB 11

1. The Act is effective August 1, 2016, except the Act does not apply to a public junior college until August 1, 2017.

2. Both public and private institutions will have to post 30.06 to identify the places where concealed carry is not allowed - 411.2031 (d-1), and 46.035 (a-2) and (a-3).

3. 46.035 (a-1) prohibits open carry, i.e., cannot carry partially or wholly visible …; and intentionally display the handgun in plain view …

4. 46.035 (g) An offense under Subsection (a), (a-1), (a-2), (a-3), (b), (c), (d), or (e) is a Class A misdemeanor. (a-1) refers to open carry on campus, (a-2) refers to private institutions posting 30.06, (a-3) refers to public institutions posting 30.06.
a. However, HB 910 appears to override this in the new Sec 30.06 (d) which makes the offense a Class C misdemeanor (a fine not to exceed $200). Does this mean even though a campus is posted 30.06, it will only be a Class C (unless asked to leave), or does 46.035(g) take precedence?


Srothstein did a good job explaining this one--the Class A misdemeanor is for violating 46.03; the Class C misdemeanor is for violating 30.06. The short answer is that carrying in a posted building on a college campus would be punishable as a Class A misdemeanor (up to a $4,000 fine, up to one year in jail, mandatory five-year CHL suspension).

b. HB 910 was passed on May 22nd, and SB 11 was passed on May 27th. Does that make any difference?


If there were a conflict, SB 11 would have precedent because it was passed most recently, but as we've already explained, there is no conflict.

5. Sec 46.035 (b)(2) no longer applies to collegiate sporting events, unless posted 30.06.

6. Sec 46.035, new (a-2) prohibits carry on “campus” of a private institution if given 30.06 notice. “Campus” is defined by 411.2031 – “Campus means all land and buildings owned or leased by …”. This is different from the current 46.03 (a) which prohibits a firearm (1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution.
a. 46.035 (f)(3) “Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.
b. Does this imply that now 30.06 can be used to prohibit concealed carry on the grounds, even when not being used as a school activity? This seems like a step back.


Private or independent institutions of higher education have always had the authority to post their grounds 30.06. The only thing private or independent institutions of higher education currently can't do is prohibit a license holder from having a concealed handgun in a locked private motor vehicle. That's not going to change. The only thing that is going to change on private campuses is that they will have to post 30.06 on any buildings they want to remain "gun-free."

7. It appears that the “Parking Lot Law”, 411.2032 (allows licensees to keep their firearm locked in their vehicle on campus) is not affected by any of these changes.

Any comments about the accuracy of this, or answers to my questions will be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby oohrah » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:51 pm

Thanks!

@srothstein - your logic makes sense, and clarifies that.

@Bladed - I have never seen a 30.06 on the "grounds" of a private school. Maybe they think they don't need one.

Point is, w/o a 30.06 posted on a campus grounds, the only thing currently off-limits are buildings. I suppose this would mean, after 8/1/2016, that private institutions would have to also post 30.06 on the grounds as well as buildings, and that public institutions are not allowed to post 30.06 on the "campus", but only premises.
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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby Bladed » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:40 pm

oohrah wrote:Thanks!

@srothstein - your logic makes sense, and clarifies that.

@Bladed - I have never seen a 30.06 on the "grounds" of a private school. Maybe they think they don't need one.

Point is, w/o a 30.06 posted on a campus grounds, the only thing currently off-limits are buildings. I suppose this would mean, after 8/1/2016, that private institutions would have to also post 30.06 on the grounds as well as buildings, and that public institutions are not allowed to post 30.06 on the "campus", but only premises.


I don't know of any private universities that post 30.06 on the campus grounds, but I know of at least one public university (Texas Tech) that posted 30.06 on the campus grounds until the Texas Legislature amended PC Sec. 30.06 to exclude property owned or leased by a governmental entity.

I suspect that most private colleges are aware that they'd need to post 30.06 in order to make concealed carry illegal on the grounds; I just think they don't want to see their campuses cluttered with signs. For years, most private institutions have operated under the exact same rules as most public institutions (concealed carry being legal on the grounds but not in buildings), and everyone has been more or less okay with it.

Whether the passage of SB 11 will prompt some private colleges to go ahead and post 30.06 signs on the grounds as well as the buildings remains to be seen.


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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby GEM-Texas » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:37 am

Private universities - Trinity University has 30.06 signs on almost every building. However, they are non-compliant as they were very, very small as compared to the requirements.

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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby E10 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:04 am

Are the provisions decided by each university going to have the force of law, or will they be merely school policy? In other words, can I as a non-student CHL holder be arrested for carrying in a properly posted campus building, or just be asked to leave if my weapon is somehow discovered? I don't see how anyone can be arrested, prosecuted, or convicted for violating a campus rule, something not passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. Hopefully Charles or another of our attorney members will weigh in on this question. Did the legislature give law-making authority to university presidents in SB 11?

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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby oohrah » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:53 am

Depends. If they post 30.06, that is a law, and would be a Class A misdemeanor, even after 1/1/16.
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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:37 am

oohrah wrote:Depends. If they post 30.06, that is a law, and would be a Class A misdemeanor, even after 1/1/16.


This is correct. While the offense/penalty for violation of TPC §30.06 will be reduced to a Class C misdemeanor as of Jan. 1, 2016, the newly created TPC §46.035(a-2) and (a-3) are Class A misdemeanors. These new offenses require notice pursuant to TPC §30.06, but they are separate offenses.

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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby TVegas » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:44 pm

So carrying inside a 30.06 posted private university building is a greater crime than carrying on any other private property that is posted 30.06?

I understand that certain concessions had to be made to get CC passed, but I believe this needs to change in 2017. The impression I had about allowing private schools to post 30.06 was that they are private property in the exact same way that any other private business is. Why are the property rights of a private university more important than everyone else's property rights?

I'm just thinking out loud here. If my understanding is wrong, please correct me.
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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby mr1337 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:05 pm

TVegas wrote:So carrying inside a 30.06 posted private university building is a greater crime than carrying on any other private property that is posted 30.06?


You are correct.

TVegas wrote:I understand that certain concessions had to be made to get CC passed, but I believe this needs to change in 2017. The impression I had about allowing private schools to post 30.06 was that they are private property in the exact same way that any other private business is. Why are the property rights of a private university more important than everyone else's property rights?

I'm just thinking out loud here. If my understanding is wrong, please correct me.


My guess is that it's what had to be done to get the Democrats to stop running down the clock with endless amendments. I don't know if it will get fixed as soon as 2017, but hopefully in a legislature thereafter, people will see that it's not as big of a deal as others make it out to be and get the penalty lowered to the same penalty of violating 30.06.
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Re: Parsing the Campus Carry Act

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:29 pm

TVegas wrote:So carrying inside a 30.06 posted private university building is a greater crime than carrying on any other private property that is posted 30.06?

I understand that certain concessions had to be made to get CC passed, but I believe this needs to change in 2017. The impression I had about allowing private schools to post 30.06 was that they are private property in the exact same way that any other private business is. Why are the property rights of a private university more important than everyone else's property rights?

I'm just thinking out loud here. If my understanding is wrong, please correct me.

At first blush, I can see how this looks like a small step backwards in terms of where we can carry. However, this is not the case.

Under current law, it is a felony to enter a school building and no notice is required. This would be a lifetime bar to firearm possession under federal law. When SB11 is effective, entry will be a Class A misdemeanor and only if notice is given under TPC §30.06.

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