Texas law prohibits intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possessing or going with a firearm on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or in a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution.1 However, Texas generally allows concealed carry license holders to keep firearms or ammunition in a locked, privately owned or leased motor vehicle in K-12 school parking areas provided that the firearm or ammunition is not in plain view.2
While the general prohibition on guns in schools applies to both public and private k-12 schools, as well as institutions of higher education, in 2015, Texas enacted a law allowing individuals with concealed carry licenses to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of public colleges and universities.3
Private or independent institutions of higher education may still regulate or prohibit the concealed carrying of firearms on their campuses, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle owned by the institution, but only after consulting with students, staff, and faculty of the institution.4 Additionally public colleges and universities are authorized to establish reasonable rules, regulations, or other provisions regarding the carrying of concealed handguns by license holders on the campus or premises of the institution so long as they do no not generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying concealed handguns on the campus of the institution.5If the institution prohibits concealed carry in a portion of the campus, the institution must provide effective notice with respect to that portion.6
See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Tex. Penal Code § 46.03(a). See also Tex. Educ. Code § 37.125(a) (regarding exhibiting, using or threatening to exhibit or use a firearm in a school bus in a manner intended to alarm or to damage school property).
- Tex. Educ. Code § 37.0815 (as amended by 2017 TX SB 1566, Section 13.
- See 2015 Tx. S.B. 11, creating Tex. Gov’t. Code § 411.2031.