Campus Carry at Odessa College

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ODESSA (August 30, 2021) – The Texas Firearm Carry Act of 2021, or Constitutional Carry, will go into effect September 1, 2021. This review is intended to provide clarity and understanding of what this law allows, and conversely, what it does not allow. In short: Constitutional Carry does not reverse Campus Carry, nor will it result in allowing more guns on the campus of Odessa College.

The Texas Firearm Carry Act of 2021 allows individuals 21 years of age and older to possess and openly carry a holstered handgun in public without a government-issued permit or license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law. The new law still prohibits Texans from carrying a firearm in the following locations:

  • A polling place while voting is taking place;
  • A government meeting open to the public;
  • A courtroom or court offices;
  • A place where K-12, collegiate, or professional sporting or interscholastic event are being held;
  • A racetrack;
  • Any sports venue;
  • A youth center;
  • Nursing Home
  • A business that derives 51% or more sales of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption;
  • A correctional facility;
  • A mental health treatment center or hospital;
  • An access-controlled airport terminal; and
  • An amusement park.

Specific to Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)

A person cannot open carry on the premises of an IHE, regardless of whether they are Licensed to Carry or not.  (Exceptions are police officers at any time and licensed security officers. Security officers must be on duty and in uniform.)

A current license holder may continue to carry concealed on the property of an IHE; however, the license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a partially or wholly visible handgun, regardless of whether the handgun is holstered, on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally or knowingly displays the handgun in plain view of another person:

(1)    on the premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education; or

(2)    on any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education.

To the Odessa College Community:

Texas Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) was passed by the Texas Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 1, 2015. It is often referred to as “Campus Carry,” and it permits individuals with a license to carry or a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed weapon on public junior college campuses in Texas beginning August 1, 2017.

As a Texas public junior college we are required by the legislature to implement the Campus Carry legislation, and this spring the college’s safety committee led the campus community through a thoughtful and deliberate process designed to educate students, faculty, staff, and the community about the new law and the development of the Campus Carry rules and policies for Odessa College. In May, the safety committee submitted its recommendations to me for review and consideration. The recommendations were subsequently approved by the Odessa College Board of Trustees at the May 25th board meeting.

The key provisions of the Odessa College plan are:

  •  Carrying concealed handguns by license holders will be prohibited in:
    • The Childcare Center and playground facilities
    • OC TECHS – Odessa Career and Technical Education High School
    • Campus locations used for governmental meetings or as polling places
  • The college will not provide weapon storage facilities in campus buildings or campus residence halls

Please note: House Bill 910 (the “Open Carry” law), was also signed by the Governor in January of 2015; however, institutions of higher education were exempted from “Open Carry” legislation.  As such, Open Carry anywhere on the Odessa College campus or college owned/leased facilities is prohibited and will be considered a violation of state law.

A publicly available webpage has been created that includes the Senate Bill in its entirety, the approved policy, Frequently Asked Questions, resources, etc.  Maintaining a safe environment to live, learn, work and play continues to be the college’s top priority.


Gregory D. Williams, Ed.D.

OC  Campus Carry Policy 

We invite you to provide us with your feedback regarding the implementation of the Campus Carry law at Odessa College. Please contribute your thoughts by completing a brief survey:

Click HERE for Campus Carry Feedback Survey

Questions? Contact OCPD at


Can anybody legally carry a handgun on campus?

No. SB11 authorizes concealed carry by license holders only. License holders include people who have received the state-mandated training and met the other statutory requirements for a CHL or LTC.

Does a supervisor have the right to prohibit employees and vendors from carrying a concealed handgun in the work environment?

No; however, if an employee or vendor must enter a gun-free zone to accomplish their work, that employee or vendor may NOT carry a concealed handgun while in those designated gun-free areas. 

Can I ask a student, faculty, staff, visitor, etc. if he or she is carrying a concealed handgun or if he or 
she is a license holder?

No. Only a magistrate or a police officer is authorized to ask a student, faculty member, staff employee, or guest on campus if he or she is carrying a concealed handgun, and/or if he or she has a valid license to carry a handgun.

Are faculty and staff required to notify students that they are carrying a concealed handgun?

No.  A license holder is not required to disclose that he or she has a license to anyone except a magistrate or peace officer. 

Can an employee prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in their private office?

No, unless the private office is located in a designated gun-free zone. Faculty and Staff private offices are generally not located in a designated gun-free zone.

Will there be a list with names of individuals on campus who are license  holders?

No. There is no publicly accessible list of the individuals in Texas who are valid license holders.