The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Campus carry arrives at TCC in August 2017

By Jamil Oakford/managing editor

Over the summer break, the Texas Legislature passed a law that will allow students, faculty and staff to bring firearms onto campus.

For TCC and other community colleges, this law will not be enacted until August 2017. This gives the college time to come up with a plan to deal with this new law.

While administration hasn’t started designing a plan for TCC, vice chancellor of communications and external affairs Reginald Gates gave a broad idea of where the process will start on designing policies.

“We’ll closely examine how universities around the area are dealing with it next fall,” he said.

TCC’s administrators will also look over other examples of campus carry in other states, he said.

NE student Juan Benitez said he does not find this concerning.

“I’m OK with it,” he said. “As long as they’re [gun owners] mentally OK and haven’t committed crimes or anything, I’m OK with it.”

One part of the law requires those who bring a firearm onto university or college campuses to possess a Concealed Handgun License. This part of the law will prevent offenders of Class A or B misdemeanors from obtaining a license to carry.

The law also states that schools can designate areas on campus where firearms will be prohibited. TR English professor Jim Schrantz gave insight into what he thought might be a policy.

“I think, of necessity, the classroom will be declared a no-carry zone,” he said.

Schrantz believes that if this is the case, it would mean students might leave their firearms at home or possibly in their cars.

According to South drama instructor Lindy Benton, TCC already has an extensive process for dealing with guns — at least guns with blanks.

“When I’ve directed shows with blanks, we’ve had mucho safety training, a weapons Master/Mistress, a locked location for the weapon and a separate location for the blanks,” she said. “Why so many safety protocols for a gun using blanks but none for the real ones?”

Schrantz expressed that the bill wasn’t all that popular to begin with.

“There were very few people in support of this bill,” Schrantz said. “But you know, they had guns.”

But these precautions don’t assuage some concerns people have. NE humanities instructional associate Mark Penland believes it won’t help.

“It concerns me,” Penland said. “I think introducing firearms into a situation makes it more dangerous for everyone.”
Schrantz echoed this idea. He believes this law has the potential to jeopardize faculty and students alike.

“I think this will endanger the safety and security of everyone in the system,” he said.

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