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Campus carry is now law, but isn’t in effect until next year

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The biggest debate in last year’s Texas legislative session was campus carry. The bill, which is now law, allows concealed carry of handguns at public universities in the state. However, the law will not be fully in effect until Aug. 1, 2016.

Private universities can opt-out of campus carry, keeping handguns banned on their campuses. In June, SMU President R. Gerald Turner sent an announcement to faculty, students and staff, stating that SMU plans to keep campus weapons-free.

“SMU has been a weapons-free campus by policy since at least 1994,” Turner said in the statement. “University Policy 10.5, which prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon on SMU property, remains in full force and is not affected by this legislation.”

Turner also said that SMU plans to follow the process outlined in the law to consult with faculty, students and staff about opting out of the campus carry law.

Meanwhile, public universities face a different situation. These schools cannot opt out of the law, but their university presidents can develop policies and guidelines tailored to their campus.

According to UT’s website, UT President Gregory Fenves plans to announce a task force on campus carry this summer.

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