North Texas Daily

More campus carry info sessions this week

More campus carry info sessions this week

April 07
02:30 2016

Evan McAlister | Staff Writer

@evan_McAlister

The UNT Police Department is explaining the university’s policy on campus carry during information sessions this week, well ahead of the law’s Aug. 1 enactment date.

One session took place Tuesday, with the next set for 4 p.m. in the Union Lyceum.

UNT police officer Kevin Crawford covered the policy with about 10 students at the first meeting, telling them about the legal regulations on campus carry. The biggest change, Crawford said, was the name of the license from Concealed Handgun License to License to Carry Holder.

“UNT is committed to the safety of students, faculty and staff, and this policy does not take away from that,” Crawford said. “What we’re trying to do is prepare the community with information so that they’re ready ahead of time.”

On even-numbered years, the university must re-submit its policy to the Texas Legislature for further approval.

All faculty, staff, students, guests, visitors or individuals on campus property must follow UNT’s policy. This includes all land, parking lots, buildings and portions of buildings owned or leased by the university. Denton police, however, patrol roads on campus.

Crawford advised students to “be a good witness” when a concealed gun is visible and not to “freak out” if you see a gun.

“Take a second to evaluate the situation, don’t confront the person and know their description,” Crawford said. “Start with race, gender, clothing and if you have time look for other unique attributes, and then tell us where that person went.”

Campus carry is nothing new. Texas joins eight other states with campus carry laws.

People who want to carry on campus are required by law to meet age requirements, clear a criminal history evaluation, mental health check and background check before they take part in an educational gun safety course.

“I had read the policy prior to the session and I came to see how other students were responding to it,” business computer information sophomore Lyle Holly said. “I feel confident that people with an LTC are going to be responsible.”

Summer orientation will now include campus safety and security seminars to help educate new faculty, incoming students and their parents on the carry policy. Other programs will cover active shooter scenarios, weather related events, medical and fire emergencies, and bystander interventions.

“We’re going to make sure that this information is available so that there’s no confusion,” Crawford said. “We want our community to be prepared for campus carry and any other potential emergencies.”

Featured Image: UNT campus carry task force chair and criminal justice professor Eric Fritsch goes over the campus carry requirements at the first town hall style forum where the task force heard student and faculty concerns and questions. Kristen Watson | DRC

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