As of today, students, professors and faculty at college campuses across the state may carry permitted concealed weapons, part of Senate Bill 11, which was passed in the wake of a slew of horrific shootings on college campuses, like the deadly massacre at Virginia Tech.
But Southern Methodist University — the university closest Lake Highlands, home to many of the school’s alumni — will remain gun-free, as the campus has utilized its right as a private institution to opt out of the new law.
In a news release, the school said, “SMU prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon (either openly or in a concealed manner), or facsimiles of dangerous weapons such as water guns or toy guns and knives, on all University property, athletic venues, passenger transportation vehicles and any groups or building on which University activities are conducted. Student-owned sporting firearms or other weapons (including all BB and pellet guns) are the responsibility of the owner and must be stored at an appropriate location off campus.”
The campus has been weapon-free since 1994, and decided to stay that way despite the statewide law. Only private universities have the option to ban concealed firearms, public universities must allow students and faculty to carry legally obtained weapons. That includes our neighborhood community college campus, Richland, whose firearms policy since 1992 has included the prohibition of fireworks, throwing stars, chains and razors anywhere on campus.