SNYDER—Approximately 145 students, faculty and staff gathered in the Fine Arts Theatre at WTC on Tuesday evening to discuss the recently passed Senate Bill 11 regarding the new campus carry law.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety website, Senate Bill 11 requires the president of a Texas institution of higher education to establish reasonable rules, regulations, or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on the campus, and the rules and regulations established may not have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying their handguns on campus.
The effective date of this law for a public junior college is August 1, 2017
“I feel strongly that students, faculty, and staff should have their concerns heard,” stated Dr. Barbara Beebe, Western Texas College president. “The college community will work together to draft a policy regarding the carrying of handguns on campus.”
The panel at Tuesday’s WTC forum included Beebe, Dean of Students Ralph Ramon, Rodeo Coach Greg Rhodes, Biology Instructor Jeffrey Schramm, WTC Director of Security Lee Ortiz, and Snyder Police Chief Terry Luecke.
Beebe also noted that some confusion exists surrounding the new campus carry and open carry laws.
“Some members of the WTC community were under the impression that this is WTC’s idea, that we want guns on campus,” added Beebe.
“We’re working very hard to make sure that everyone on campus understands that we are complying with state law. The discussion is not if we want guns on campus, rather how we are going to regulate guns on campus.”
Although not required under S.B.11, as they work to establish the rules, regulations, and provisions to be compliant with the law, Western Texas College will hold additional forums where the community can also voice their concerns and share ideas.