Southwestern University opts out of campus carry

Despite a Texas law taking effect next year to allow the carrying of concealed handguns on college campuses, Southwestern University will remain gun-free.

The university will uphold its current weapons policy and has chosen to opt out of Senate Bill 11, according to a statement from President Edward Burger released Dec. 11.

While public universities are able to designate some parts of the campuses as gun-free zones, private institutions are allowed to opt out of the law entirely. Campus carry is set to go into effect Aug. 1.

Southwestern University’s current policy states that the possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives on campus is strictly prohibited. Burger cited campus safety and student wellbeing as the main reason for opting out of the law.

“As required by Senate Bill 11, our Campus Carry Task Force facilitated several campuswide meetings with students, faculty, staff, and trustees. A unanimous decision was reached to uphold the current policy to prohibit weapons on the Southwestern campus,” he said in a statement. “I have accepted this recommendation from the Campus Carry Task Force, and our university will join together to honor this decision.”

Southwestern University joins a growing list of private institutions choosing to remain gun-free. According to the Houston Chronicle, Rice University, Texas Christian University, Texas Lutheran University, St. Mary’s University and the University of the Incarnate Word have opted out of the law since it was signed during the summer.