Austin Community College faculty required to show campus carry video on first day of class

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The Austin Community College board of trustees spent nearly an hour Monday asking questions about how the school’s new campus carry policy will be articulated to ACC’s students, faculty and staff come fall semester.

The state policy—which was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 and says people can carry concealed handguns on Texas community college campuses starting Aug. 1—outlines the exclusion, or gun-free zones, and explains who is eligible to carry a concealed handgun on campus.

Molly Beth Malcolm—who co-chaired the campus carry implementation task force that developed the policy over six months—said faculty will be required to show a short video that explains campus carry and identifies the gun-free zones around campus to each class at the beginning of the semester.

“This was not a decision made lightly,” she said.

Sean Hassan, who was elected to the board of trustees after winning in a runoff election last December, called the law an “excessive regulation” and said the video would take up “valuable student educational time”.

He said he was also concerned about how the law would affect non-Texan visitors to campus, particularly those coming to see campus facilities and incubators.

“My concern is this is so bad for business,” he said. “The legislation is not thinking about business thriving in this community.”

Chris Cervini, who headed the implementation task force, said language is currently being developed on the community college-specific consequences of a student displaying a handgun on campus. Per Texas law, intentionally displaying a handgun on a college campus or going into a gun-free zone with a concealed handgun is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Cervini said in addition to the educational video, training materials about campus carry are currently being developed and will be available online. He said 2-foot-by-4-foot signs will be displayed on the doors of every room—about 140-150 of them—that is a designated gun-free zone. Gun-free zones include testing centers, polling places and child labs.

“Some of the policies were developed thinking about the reasonableness of the [licensed to carry]holder, to know the training they have been through, [and]to know where they can and can’t take a weapon,” Cervini said.

Following the presentation, ACC President and CEO Richard Rhodes commended the task force for its work on the policy.

“This is not something I think any of us feel comfortable moving forward with, but we don’t have a choice,” he said. “This is the law.”

ACC’s fall semester begins Aug. 28.

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COMMENT
  1. When the shooter at the Pulse Nightclub in Orland decided to kill a bunch of people, he scouted a number of locations and carefully planned the shooting. He didn’t pick a shooting range, even though it had more guns… no, he picked the most defenseless target he could find. He’s the typical killer, he’s the one that plans for weeks, months, or years beforehand. He weighs every option, and being in a gun free zone allows him to kill longer, kill more people, and be safer doing it. He looks for the least resistance possible.

    This is why nearly every shooting is in a gun free zone. This is also why schools are the best target. You have a huge number of kids, not adults. You have them corralled into killing pens – sorry, classrooms. And you have made sure, legally, they cannot carry a weapon. You’ve created the perfect target for a killer.

    Showing a video tells a potential murderer…
    1. That the school is not a victim.
    2. That at any time a young man or woman will be able to fight back.
    3. That the school is not a target.

    Then you go and screw it up by setting up MORE gun free zones, and you made the killer smile. “Target reacquired!”

Marie Albiges
Marie Albiges was the editor for the San Marcos, Buda and Kyle edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She covered San Marcos City Council, San Marcos CISD and Hays County Commissioners Court. Marie previously reported for the Central Austin edition. Marie moved to Austin from Williamsburg, Va. in 2016 and was born in France. She has since moved on from Community Impact in May 2018.
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