Victoria College board accepts ‘campus-carry’ policy
Handgun policy
Dr. David Hinds

Victoria College’s Board of Trustees accepted an institutional policy on handguns for the VC campus during its regular meeting on Jan. 23.

The policy states a "license holder may carry a concealed handgun, as defined by Texas Government Code Chapter 411, on the campus and premises of Victoria College unless prohibited by state or federal law." The open carrying of handguns is prohibited on campus with the exception of licensed peace officers.

The policy will go into effect on Aug. 1 in accordance to a “campus-carry” bill passed by the 84th Legislature in 2015 to allow concealed handguns in classrooms and other buildings at public and private universities and colleges. The law went into effect at four-year universities and colleges on Aug. 1, 2016 and will take effect at community colleges beginning this August.

“After considerable input from students, college employees, law enforcement and legal representatives, we have a policy in place that complies with the law and meets the needs of our constituents,” VC President Dr. David Hinds said. “We owe many thanks to the policy working group; they did an excellent job of researching this issue and coming up with a set of solid recommendations.”

Along with VC’s Main Campus, the policy will also apply to the Gonzales Center, Emerging Technology Complex, Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts and Liberty Industrial Training Center. The policy will not include the Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing in Hallettsville, Wilkins Industrial Training Center in Port Lavaca and Cuero School of Vocational Nursing. The two nursing schools are on hospital properties and the Wilkins Industrial Training Center is located on Calhoun County Independent School District property.

Concealed carry will not be permitted during disciplinary hearings or appeals for misconduct.

“Our policy will allow us flexibility if and when we need to impose reasonable, temporary restrictions,” Hinds said. “The policy will not create a permanent restriction on any part of the campus or on the rights of those licensed to carry a handgun in the State of Texas.”

The policy will be published on and in the student catalog and employee handbook.

VC Police Chief Felix Appelt said it will be the responsibility of concealed handgun carriers to understand the law and Victoria College’s policy.

“The policy states that it is the person’s responsibility to know the laws regarding concealed carry if they wish to carry,” Appelt said. “It is not the college’s responsibility to train them on what the law requires.”

Hinds said Victoria College was fortunate that four-year universities were required to put their policies in place a year earlier.

“That gave us several working models to review before settling on what was right for VC,” Hinds said.

Handgun policy
Felix Appelt
Published: Wednesday, 25 January 2017

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