Kilgore College students living on campus will move into their assigned residence halls Aug. 25; a small number of them may bring guns.
Senate Bill 11, which allows licensed handgun owners to carry a concealed weapon on community college campuses, went into effect Aug. 1 but most KC resident students are not yet old enough to legally own and carry a handgun.
“With the vast majority of our housing students being under the age of 21, we anticipate very few – if any – students in housing who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon,” KC spokesperson Chris Craddock said.
The Kilgore College Concealed Handgun Policy states that if a student living in an on-campus residence hall is licensed to carry, the college will provide the student with a “high quality gun safe” to store his or her weapon.
“To ensure the safety of our residents and the security of a license holder’s handgun, residents will not be allowed to provide their own safe for handgun storage,” Craddock explained.
The policy also says students can request room changes if their assigned or chosen roommate has a handgun he or she will have on campus and be storing in the dorm room in the provided gun safe.
Craddock stressed the authority to carry concealed handguns on campus was not a local decision but a law implemented by the state.
“KC did not have many options under the letter of the law,” he said.
There are exclusion zones where handguns are prohibited permanently and temporarily during events.
The three main areas where handguns are permanently prohibited are the Kilgore College Police Department offices, the KC testing centers and the KC Health Science Center.
“These three areas have clear signage that indicates they are exclusion zones, meaning that handguns are not permitted in these areas except for peace officers who are properly credentialed,” a KC press release states.
Other exclusion zones include locations of open meetings during the meeting, anywhere a sporting event is taking place and where a K-12 school sponsored event is taking place.
When temporary exclusion zones are set up, appropriately temporary signs will be placed to reflect this.
At no time is open carry allowed on the college campus, and people – students, visitors or employees – will not be allowed to use KC lockers and desks to store weapons.
Student and employee policies will reflect the new law stating license holders have the responsibility to safeguard their handguns at all times and ensure they are secured in a way that will prevent theft, loss, damage or misuse.
“Failure to secure a handgun at all times on the Kilgore College campus will be considered a failure to use reasonable care. License holders affiliated with Kilgore College who fail to use reasonable care in securing their handguns or act negligently are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, termination or non-renewal of appointment, or dismissal.”