Campus Carry Comments Sought

A message from President Turner regarding "campus carry" legislation

President of SMU

As many of you know, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 11 in the last legislative session, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in June. The law, also known as the “campus carry” law, provides that license holders may carry a concealed handgun throughout university campuses starting August 1, 2016. It allows private Texas colleges and universities to opt out of its requirement and ban guns, in consultation with their campus communities.

Earlier this month, representatives from the SMU Offices of Legal Affairs, Student Affairs, Business and Finance and Police met with the SMU Faculty Senate, SMU Student Senate and SMU Staff Advocacy Council. The feedback from these meetings was valuable.

I am now seeking input from the broader SMU student, faculty and staff community. Please submit your comments about the “campus carry” law and about SMU’s policy as a weapons-free campus by clicking here. To read more about Senate Bill 11, see below. You also can read our long-standing weapons-free campus policy below.

While the final “opt out” decision rests with me, your feedback is important. Thanks to each of you for the role you play in maintaining a safe and welcoming campus for all. 

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For Your Reference

Subsection (e) of Section 1 of Texas Senate  Bill 11,
signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2015

A private or independent institution of higher education in this state, after consulting with students, staff, and faculty of the institution, may establish rules, regulations, or other provisions prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns on the campus of the institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle owned by the institution. 

The full text of Senate Bill 11 as signed into law.


POLICY NUMBER: 10.5 of the SMU Policies and Procedures

A. To the fullest extent of Federal and Texas law, Southern Methodist University (“University”) prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon, or facsimiles of dangerous weapons, on all University property, athletic venues, passenger transportation vehicles, and any grounds or building on which University activities are conducted. These items include but are not limited to:

1. Firearms.

2. Clubs; including blackjacks, nightsticks, maces, tomahawks, or nunchucks.

3. Illegal knives, including:

a. any knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;

b. hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown, including “throwing stars”;

c. daggers, including but not limited to: a dirk, stiletto, or poniard;

d. bowie knife;

e. sword; or

f. spear.

4. Explosives, including incendiary devices, grenades, rockets, or mines.

5. Chemical dispensing devices (this does not include self-defense sprays legally sold over the counter for personal defense).

6. Fireworks.

7. Dangerous weapons.

8. Cross bows.

9. Pellet guns.

10. Paintball guns.

11. Blow guns.

12. Stun guns.

13. Spear guns.

14. Look-a-like facsimiles or toys.

B.  Student-owned sporting firearms or other weapons (including all BB and pellet guns) are the responsibility of the owner and must be stored at an appropriate location off campus.

C.  Any violation of this policy is considered a serious offense, and will be dealt with accordingly by any or all of the following SMU offices:

1. University Police Department

2. SMU Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards

3. Office of the Dean of Student Life

4. Office of Residence Life and Student Housing

D.  Members duly authorized by University or other accredited law enforcement offices may carry firearms in performance of their duties.

E. If weapons or reasonable facsimiles of weapons are used, pursuit and attack games, including but not limited to Gotcha, Assassin, and Dungeons & Dragons, are not permitted on campus.

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