MD Anderson's Campus Carry Plan
With limited exceptions, MD Anderson bans firearms from its facilities and properties.
One exception is in accordance with Senate Bill 11, also known as Campus Carry, and applies to persons who hold a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license. As an institution of higher education, MD Anderson is obliged to follow the Campus Carry law and is not at liberty to enact policies or provisions that violate it. Any changes to the law would have to come through the state legislative process.
What Campus Carry means for state-issued handgun license holders
Those who hold a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license may carry their handguns in a concealed fashion in certain areas on MD Anderson’s campuses.
Aside from law enforcement officials, no one may openly carry firearms at any time on MD Anderson’s campuses.
Both the concealed carriage of a handgun in prohibited areas on campus and the open carriage of a handgun anywhere on campus are a violation of MD Anderson policy. Please contact law enforcement at 911 to report the open carriage of firearms on MD Anderson property or in MD Anderson facilities.
What Campus Carry means for our community
MD Anderson leadership remains committed to maintaining a safe environment for our patients, volunteers, students, clinical care professionals, researchers and staff.
MD Anderson will not tolerate any threatening use of weapons, concealed or otherwise. Carrying a legal, concealed weapon is not, in and of itself, a disruptive or threatening act.
Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read our FAQs below for more information on concealed handguns at MD Anderson.
What is Texas’ Campus Carry law?
Campus Carry is the common name for Senate Bill 11, which authorizes those who hold a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license (handgun licensees) to carry a concealed handgun at institutions of higher education in Texas beginning Aug. 1, 2016. This authorization is subject to each institution’s rules and regulations.
Who are handgun licensees?
Handgun licensees are those who hold a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license. In Texas prior to Jan. 1, 2016, such a license was called a Concealed Handgun License (CHL); from Jan. 1, 2016, onward, it is called a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC).
Does the Campus Carry law allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon at MD Anderson?
No. The law doesn’t grant a universal right to carry a concealed weapon on MD Anderson campuses. The law applies only to handgun licensees.
Why does this law apply to MD Anderson? I thought that hospitals were exempt?
While MD Anderson provides patient care, it is not licensed as a hospital under the Texas Health and Safety Code. MD Anderson is considered an academic medical center and public institution of higher education, which is why it’s subject to Campus Carry.
How does Campus Carry change the way things are at MD Anderson?
Handgun licensees already may carry concealed handguns on MD Anderson’s driveways, streets, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, parking garages and other parking areas. Beginning Aug. 1, 2016, Campus Carry will allow those who hold a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license to carry concealed handguns in certain areas of MD Anderson’s campuses called CHL zones. Areas in which concealed handguns are prohibited are called exclusion zones.
What is an exclusion zone?
An exclusion zone is an area in which handgun licensees may not carry concealed handguns. These areas are indicated on our campus maps and marked by clear signage.
What is a CHL zone?
A CHL zone is an area in which handgun licensees may carry concealed handguns. These areas are indicated on our campus maps.
Examples of exclusion zone signage
Where at MD Anderson may those with a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license carry concealed handguns?
Those with a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license (handgun licensees) may carry their concealed handguns in certain areas of MD Anderson’s campuses called CHL zones. View our campus maps for a visual illustration of CHL zones.
Can MD Anderson establish a policy that prevents handgun licensees from bringing their handguns onto MD Anderson’s campus?
No. MD Anderson may establish reasonable rules regulating the carriage of concealed handguns by handgun licensees, so long as those rules don’t “generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting CHL holders from carrying concealed handguns on the campus.”
Campus Carry allows MD Anderson to establish institution-specific policies after consulting with students, staff and faculty of the institution about the following points:
- The nature of the student population
- Specific safety considerations
- The uniqueness of the campus environment
In addition to these required stakeholder groups, the MD Anderson Campus Carry Working Group also consulted with our patients.
Read MD Anderson's Policy on Concealed Handgun Carriage on MD Anderson’s Campus (ADM1254).
To whom does the policy apply to?
The policy will apply to our faculty, staff, volunteers, students, patients, visitors and vendors.
When did the MD Anderson Campus Carry Working Group begin the required consultations with students, staff and faculty to establish rules that regulate the carriage of concealed handguns by handgun licensees?
The MD Anderson Campus Carry Working Group sought input from a broad group of stakeholders, including patients, students, faculty and staff, from September through December of 2015. The Working Group submitted its recommendations to MD Anderson’s president in December 2015, and to the UT System Board of Regents in March 2016. The UT System Board of Regents reviewed the recommendations and plan in May and July of 2015.
Why can’t we restrict concealed handguns from all MD Anderson campuses?
Campus Carry specifies that no blanket exclusion policy may be enacted. Each institution is obliged to follow this law to the letter and may not enact policies or provisions that violate it. Any changes to the law would have to come through the state legislative process.
Does Open Carry allow handgun licensees to carry handguns openly on MD Anderson campuses?
No. Texas House Bill 910, commonly known as Open Carry, became law on Jan. 1, 2016, and makes it legal for handgun licensees to carry visible handguns in the state of Texas. However, Open Carry doesn’t apply at public universities, including MD Anderson. Only law enforcement officials may openly carry handguns at MD Anderson.
If I see someone openly carrying a firearm at MD Anderson, should I call the police?
Yes. The safest course of action is to call the Police Department by dialing 911. They will respond and make contact with the individual to determine if that person is an authorized license holder and is legitimately carrying a firearm openly.
What responsibilities do handgun licensees have to keep their handguns absolutely concealed? Are they violating the terms of their license if someone gets a glimpse of their handguns?
The law does not expressly state where a weapon needs to be to be considered "concealed." The weapon cannot be in plain view or easily seen by casual observation. Further, the weapon must be on the handgun licensee’s person, or in a purse, backpack or other bag within arm’s reach so that it’s readily accessible. At no time may a handgun licensee leave his or her concealed handgun beyond arm’s reach.
Handgun licensees must take reasonable measures to conceal their handguns. A handgun licensee who takes a gun out of concealment or otherwise displays or brandishes it would be violating MD Anderson policy.
What does it mean to have a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) or License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
Texas state law permits certain, eligible persons to apply for and receive a license to carry a handgun on their person. In Texas prior to Jan. 1, 2016, such a license was called a Concealed Handgun License (CHL); from Jan. 1, 2016, onward, it is called a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC).
What is required for a person to be eligible for a CHL (prior to 2016) or an LTC (2016 onward) in Texas?
Please refer to Texas Penal Code, Section 411.172, for exact eligibility requirements. Generally, an applicant must meet all of 14 distinct criteria in order to be eligible to receive a CHL in Texas. Some of those 14 criteria are:
- Be a legal resident of Texas for six months prior to application
- Be at least 21 years of age (or a member or honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. armed forces)
- Have no felony convictions: In 2013, CHL holders represented 0.3106% of the total convictions in Texas - Read the Texas Department of Public Safety report (pdf)
- Not currently facing certain criminal charges
- Not chemically dependent
- Be capable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun
Most applicants for a CHL or an LTC in Texas must demonstrate handgun proficiency by taking and satisfactorily completing four to six hours of classroom training, pass a written examination and pass a proficiency demonstration (shooting). Exemptions from parts of this requirement exist for certain applicants, such as honorably discharged military veterans.
May faculty ask students, trainees or fellows to report whether or not they are handgun licensees? May a supervisor request a list of workforce members who are handgun licensees?
No. Faculty or supervisors may not, under any circumstances, require or otherwise force students or workforce members into disclosing their concealed carriage status, nor pressure them to answer questions about concealed carriage. Handgun licensees are not required to disclose their status to anyone other than law enforcement. Whether or not someone is a handgun licensee is not a matter of public record.
Are there any places that handgun licensees can’t carry a concealed handgun?
Yes. Texas state law, including sections 46.02, 46.03, and 46.035 of the Texas Penal Code, prohibits handguns and other weapons in certain places, including but not limited to:
- On the premises of a business that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption;
- On the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting or interscholastic event is taking place
- On the premises of a correctional facility
- On the premises of a hospital or nursing home (without proper authorization);
- In an amusement park
- On the premises of a church, synagogue, or other place of worship; or
- At any meeting of a governmental entity.
Handgun licensees are not allowed to carry a handgun if they're intoxicated or otherwise don't have normal use of mental and physical faculties.
Where can I get more information on handgun licensing requirements?
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Concealed handgun licensing information
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Concealed handgun frequently asked questions
- Texas Government Code for the Department of Public Safety (including CHL licensing laws)
- Texas Penal Code applicable to weapons (describing criminal offenses)
Can I ask someone with a concealed weapon if he or she has a valid and appropriate state-issued license?
Yes. Anyone may ask, but the individual doesn’t have to reply unless asked by a member of law enforcement.
What should I do if I feel that my right to carry my concealed handgun is being violated?
Contact the Institutional Compliance Office at 713-745-6636 if you feel your right to carry a concealed handgun is being violated.
Are handgun licensees allowed to store a firearm on MD Anderson property?
At no time may a handgun licensee leave their concealed handguns unattended in their offices, cubicles, labs or any other MD Anderson facility space. However, handgun licensees may store their concealed handguns in their cars, both in MD Anderson lots and Texas Medical Center lots.
Patients and family members staying at Rotary House may store their concealed handguns in the safes provided in their rooms, or in their cars.
What should I do if I’m carrying a concealed handgun and traveling between buildings that allow and don’t allow the concealed carry of handguns?
You must store your concealed handgun in your car if you need to travel among exclusion zones and CHL zones. At no time may handgun licensees leave their concealed handguns unattended in their offices, cubicles, labs or any other MD Anderson facility space.
I’m taking an MD Anderson shuttle from one CHL zone to another. May I carry my concealed handgun on the shuttle?
Yes. Review our campus maps to make sure that both your point of origin and your destination are CHL zones.
I ride a STAR Vanpool to work. May I bring my concealed handgun to work?
You’ll need to consider two factors to determine whether you may carry your concealed handgun on your STAR Vanpool:
Step 1: Speak with your STAR Vanpool colleagues. Each STAR Vanpool group may collectively decide whether to allow or prohibit concealed handguns on its van. Your first step is to speak with your STAR Vanpool driver to begin the discussion. Note that you may not store your concealed handgun on the STAR Vanpool van.
Step 2: Consider where you work and what you do. If you work in a CHL zone and only travel to other CHL zones, you may carry your concealed handgun with you as long as you’re in the CHL zone and the handgun is within arm’s reach at all times; it may never be left unattended. If you don’t work in a CHL zone, or if you work in a CHL zone but frequently travel to exclusion zones, you’ll have nowhere to store your concealed handgun once you arrive on campus. You’ll need to leave your handgun at home.
I take the bus or train to work. May I bring my concealed handgun to work?
METRO permits the carriage of concealed handguns on its vehicles. However, you’ll need to consider where you work and what you do.
If you work in a CHL zone and only travel to other CHL zones, you may carry your concealed handgun with you as long as you’re in the CHL zone and the handgun is within arm’s reach at all times; it may never be left unattended.
If you don’t work in a CHL zone, or if you work in a CHL zone but frequently travel to exclusion zones, you’ll have nowhere to store your concealed handgun once you arrive on campus. You’ll need to leave your handgun at home.
I park in an MD Anderson lot. May I leave the lot with my concealed handgun?
Yes – as long as you’re heading to a CHL zone. All MD Anderson managed parking areas permit you to store and carry your CHL, but your destination determines whether you can take your handgun with you. For instance:
If you work in a CHL zone, you may carry your concealed handgun with you as long as you’re in the CHL zone and the handgun is within arm’s reach at all times; it may never be left unattended.
If you work in a CHL zone but need to go to an exclusion zone, you’ll need to leave your handgun in your car.
If you don’t work in a CHL zone, you’ll need to leave your handgun in your car.
I park in a Texas Medical Center lot. May I leave the lot with my concealed handgun?
Yes – as long as you unload it before removing it from the immediate vicinity of your vehicle. You also may store your concealed handgun in your vehicle, as long as it's out of sight. In the summer of 2016, we'll be working with the Texas Medical Center for clarity on its policy. Please review the Texas Medical Center Policy Prohibiting Firearms and Weapons on TMC Property (pdf).
Can workforce members bring a concealed weapon to a meeting (e.g., staff meetings, disciplinary meetings, performance coaching and evaluation meetings, trainings, campus resource consultations, interviews)?
Only if all of the following conditions are met:
- the meeting is in a CHL zone,
- the workforce member has a valid and appropriate state-issued handgun license, and
- the weapon is carried in accordance with the law, i.e., concealed.
For assistance in any situation of concern, such as a performance review, please contact 2-STOP at 713-792-STOP (7867).
Can workforce members post signage that prohibits handguns in their work areas?
No. This violates the Policy on Concealed Handgun Carriage on MD Anderson’s Campus (ADM1254), which outlines approved exclusion zones.
What should I do if I feel threatened by someone with a concealed handgun?
Anyone may report threats of violence or incidents of perceived violence by calling 2-STOP at 713-792-STOP (7867). You may remain anonymous. If violence is occurring or there is an immediate threat of bodily harm, call 911. Please see MD Anderson's Workplace Violence Prevention Policy (ADM0257) (pdf) for more information.
What if someone verbally shares that they have a concealed handgun during a conversation?
If someone tells you that they have a concealed handgun, you may ask them if they have a valid and appropriate state-issued license, or call the Police Department at 911 to verify whether they have the proper license.