These FAQ’s are provided for general information and are not intended to provide any specific legal advice regarding the carrying of a handgun. Individuals should refer to state and federal statutes to ensure they are in compliance with the law.


How has Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) prepared for campus concealed carry? add
In the 84th Texas legislative session, Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) was enacted and allows license holders to carry a concealed handgun in campus buildings of public junior colleges beginning on August 1, 2017. License holders will not be permitted to carry concealed in certain areas of the College. SB11 provided a process for the College to follow in implementing the new law. In accordance with SB 11, SWTJC President Hector Gonzales created the Campus Concealed Carry Committee to develop recommendations regarding the implementation and compliance with the new law. The committee, which was comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives, reviewed the new statute and solicited input from the college community by utilizing surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews. The committee presented their recommendations to President Gonzales on January 31, 2017. On March 23, 2017, the Board of Trustees approved the committee’s recommendations and added the College’s libraries and cafeterias\snack bars to the committee’s list of exclusionary zones, where concealed carry will not be permitted. To see all the exclusionary zones, please read the SWTJC Campus Carry Policy.
What are the requirements to obtain a license to carry a handgun in Texas? add

In order to obtain a license to carry a handgun in Texas the applicant must meet the following qualifications:

  • At least 21 years of age;
  • Has been a legal resident of the state for the six-month period preceding the submission of the application;
  • Not been convicted of a felony;
  • Not currently charged with commission of a Class A or B misdemeanor, Disorderly Conduct or equivalent offense, or a felony by indictment or information;
  • In the 5 years preceding the application has not been convicted of the commission of a Class A or B misdemeanor, or Disorderly Conduct or equivalent offense;
  • Not a fugitive from justice;
  • Not a chemically dependent person;
  • Capable of exercising sound judgment in the use and storage of a handgun;
  • Not currently under a court issued protective order or restraining order affecting a spousal relationship;
  • Qualified under federal and state laws to buy a handgun;
  • Not delinquent on child support payments or other monies collected by state agencies; and
  • Must successfully complete an approved course with a written examination and a shooting proficiency component.

You must also complete and submit an accurate application to the Texas Department of Public Safety along with the required fee and supplemental forms and materials. Full eligibility requirements can be found in section 411.172 of the Texas Government Code. Additionally, federal law may disqualify certain individuals from obtaining a license to carry as explained in section 922 of 18 USC 44. 

How many concealed handgun licenses have been issued in Texas? add

As of December 31, 2015, there were 937,419 active concealed handgun license holders according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. At the end of 2015, the Texas population totaled 27,469,114, so concealed handgun license holders represented 3.41% of the Texas population. In 2015, license revocations totaled .11% of concealed handgun license holders. During the calendar year 2015, 108 concealed handgun license holders were convicted of crimes in Texas.

Handgun license reports and statistics can be found on the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

What prohibitions will be changed by the new law? add

Prior to August 1, 2017, the law permitted the holder of a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed handgun on a SWTJC campus only in outdoor areas, such as parking lots and garages, sidewalks, walkways, or streets, unless there was a SWTJC sponsored event.

Effective August 1, 2017, handgun license holders will be allowed to carry a concealed handgun in campus buildings at SWTJC subject to the restrictions set forth in the College’s Campus Carry Policy. According to the policy certain areas of each campus have been designated as exclusionary zones and concealed carry is not permitted within those zones. Please review the Policy to identify designated exclusionary zones. Additionally, the president of the College can temporarily prohibit concealed carry of handguns at certain events

When will the new campus carry law become effective? add
Actually, the law became effective for four-year universities on September 1, 2016. However, the new law will not take effect on two-year college campuses like SWTJC until August 1, 2017.
Can an individual who does not have a handgun license carry a concealed handgun? add
No. The law requires an individual to have a license in order to carry a concealed handgun on their person.
Can a licensee from another state carry a concealed handgun in Texas? add
Yes, provided the state which issued the license has reciprocity with Texas. Currently, 42 states have reciprocity agreements with Texas. 
Can an instructor prohibit concealed carry in the office, classroom, or laboratory? add
No. Senate Bill 273 (SB 273) enacted by the 84th Texas Legislature prohibits SWTJC staff or instructors from instituting greater restrictions on licensed handgun holders than required by the law.
What is meant by Open Carry and when did it become effective? add
The newly enacted House Bill 910 (HB 910) became effective on January 1, 2016.  Except where specifically prohibited by law, HB 910 removed the duty of handgun license holders to carry their handgun concealed. 
Does the Open Carry law allow license holders to openly carry SWTJC campuses? add
No, HB 910 prohibits licensed handgun holders from openly carrying a handgun in any college buildings, driveways, sidewalks, or other parts of the premises.
What should I do if I see someone with a handgun on campus? add
Call 911 and explain to the dispatcher that you are on the campus of SWTJC and then they will notify the campus police, who will make contact with the individual.
Is a handgun license holder required to show their license to anyone? add
Yes, Texas Government Code § 411.205 requires a license holder to provide both their driver’s and handgun licenses to a Texas Peace Officer or magistrate upon request. They are not required to show it to a SWTJC employee who is not a peace officer or a magistrate.