Posted by jhingarat21 on 30th Oct 2015
A&M Seeks Input For Concealed Carry On Campus Law
COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M is working on implementing campus carry with a new survey for students, faculty and staff to address their concerns and opinions on the new legislation.
News 3 visited with students on campus and has a closer look at what rules will be in place.
Starting next fall, handguns won’t be off limits at all public colleges in Texas.
That includes Texas A&M University.
University President Michael K. Young has created a Task Force to help implement their plan with feedback from students, faculty and staff on where guns should and shouldn’t be allowed.
“I would say not in the MSC or Kyle Field. Those are just two public places that I feel like weapons should never really be allowed in just to kind of preserve those areas,” said Texas A&M Student Mackenzie Ford.
Ford says she’ll feel safe with more people on campus armed especially after other mass shootings elsewhere in the nation.
“I think it’s an ok idea as long as the people have taken the course in order for it to be safe for everyone. A&M is an amazing campus and I’ve always felt really safe on it, so whether or not the law is in place I will feel just as safe,” she said.
Another student told us they are for the campus carry policy after some recent shootings around the nation, but want gun owners to be responsible and have training.
With the new law on the books most students won’t be able to carry a gun. You have to be at least 21-years-old and have a concealed handgun license.
University officials weren’t available for an on camera interview, but said by email said they received thousands of responses in the first few hours of the survey.
Student Michayal Matthew has his concerns about the law.
“I’m a little bit skeptical to say like the least because I mean as much as having everyone else with guns, sometimes like you can’t really control it all, so if we’re going to have campus carry I would want it to be like restricted in a lot of areas, like Kyle Field no guns on game day’s pretty good idea,” he said.
President Michael K. Young will have ultimate say which buildings might have a ban on guns. He fought to keep guns off campus while President at the University of Utah but hasn’t shared an opinion since he began his new job in Aggieland.
The Task Force is expected to release recommendations to the university president by April while the law takes effect August 1st.
Sam Houston State University has held a series of town hall meetings about their policies. The last one is happening from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. at Criminal Justice Center’s Killinger Auditorium
Q and A with Chris Meyer, Assistant Vice President Office of Safety and Security | Texas A&M University
1. How is the survey going for faculty and students? From my understanding it ends November 9th. Is that correct?
Ans: Early indicators showed a strong response rate from all three groups surveyed — students, faculty and staff. While no exact numbers are available, we received thousands of responses yesterday in the first few hours that the survey was open.
2. Have you identified any areas yet that will be gun free zones? B. Any restrictions planned for Kyle Field, The MSC just yet?
Ans: The law allows the President to identify gun free zones. The Task Force’s work is to broadly survey the campus community for input and to make recommendations to the President for consideration. We have not begun the process of developing recommendations yet.
3. What’s the timeline for implementation and getting the word out on TAMU policy with the law taking effect next fall?
4. Ans: President Young sent an email to the university on October 15th that included a link to a website containing information about the law. This week, the survey was opened and will remain open through November 9th. Due to the open-ended format of the survey questions, analysis of the responses will be slow and methodical. Ultimately, the President has charged the Task Force to provide our recommendations to him no later than April 30, 2016.
5. Are there any special meetings coming up the campus community, public can attend?
Ans: Our primary means of gathering input from the campus community is through the survey. In addition, members of the task force will meet with campus groups or departments upon request.
6. Any other security measures you can think of viewers should be aware of?