August 4, 2016

2885 Sanford Ave. SW, #24704
Grandville, MI 49418
Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Dear Attorney General Paxton:
Despite your December 21 opinion (KP-0051) stating, "No provisions within S.B. 11 authorize a president or chief
executive officer to delegate this authority [to make rules regarding the carrying of concealed handguns on campus] to
individual professors, and reading S.B. 11 as a whole suggests that the Legislature did not intend to allow such piecemeal
regulation of handguns on campus," the University of Texas System regents recently ratified a policy—proposed by UTAustin's campus carry policy working group 1 and approved by UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves—to let occupants of
private offices at the University of Texas at Austin designate their offices as criminally enforceable "gun-free" zones. A little
more than two weeks later, just days before the August 1 effective date of Senate Bill 11, the University of Texas at San
Antonio amended its own campus carry policies to include a similar policy for private offices.
Students for Concealed Carry has published 22 pages of press releases explaining how this policy will preclude many if not
most licensed faculty, staff, and graduate students at these universities from being able to lawfully carry concealed
handguns on campus (highlights).
The Laws and Policies at Issue
Texas Government Code Section 411.209(a) states, "A state agency or a political subdivision of the state may not provide
notice by a communication described by Section 30.06, Penal Code, or by any sign expressly referring to that law or to a
concealed handgun license, that a license holder carrying a handgun under the authority of this subchapter is prohibited
from entering or remaining on a premises or other place owned or leased by the governmental entity unless license
holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun on the premises or other place by Section 46.03 or 46.035, Penal Code."
Texas Penal Code Section 46.035(a-3) states, "[A] license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally
carries a concealed handgun on a portion of a premises located on the campus of an institution of higher education in
this state on which the carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited by rules, regulations, or other provisions
established under Section 411.2031(d-1), Government Code, provided the institution gives effective notice under Section
30.06 with respect to that portion."
Per your December 21 opinion to Senator Birdwell, Section 411.2031(d-1), Government Code, "does not authorize a
president or chief executive officer to delegate this authority to individual professors." That means that a university office
arbitrarily designated as "gun-free" by the occupant is not a "portion of a premises...on which the carrying of a concealed
handgun is prohibited by rules...established under [Government Code] Section 411.2031(d-1)."
If a "gun-free" office wasn't legitimately declared "gun-free" under GC Sec. 411.2031(d-1), it's not a "premises or other
place" where "license holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun...by [Penal Code] Section 46.03 or 46.035," which
means the office has been declared "gun-free" in violation of Government Code Section 411.209.
Where Notice Has Been Given
The UT-Austin policy is documented on the UT-Austin website. UT-Austin's campus carry information sheet for students
states:
1

Professor Steven Goode, chair of UT-Austin's campus carry policy working group, has admitted that the working group did not include
any members who supported campus carry. The August 2016 edition of Austin Monthly magazine quotes him as saying, "Out of 19
members, not one supported Campus Carry."

Where Is Concealed Carry Prohibited?
Areas exempted from concealed carry as laid out by state law and campus policy include:
...
Offices: University employees who are solely assigned to an office are permitted to prohibit the concealed carry of
a handgun in that office and are required to provide oral notice to all visitors that the concealed carry of a handgun
is prohibited in the office.
UT-Austin's campus carry information sheet for faculty states:
Is Concealed Carry Allowed in Faculty Offices?
Faculty members who are solely assigned to an office are permitted to prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in
that office. If faculty members choose to exercise this discretion, they must provide oral notice that the concealed
carry of a handgun is prohibited in their offices. Oral notice is the only legally effective way to provide notice about
the prohibition. Please note: The syllabus is not the medium by which students should be informed of this sort of
prohibition. Individual departments and colleges have the responsibility to monitor the syllabi of faculty members
to ensure compliance with university policy: http://catalog.utexas.edu/general-information/academic-policiesand-procedures/class-syllabi/
The UT-Austin fact sheets for staff, parents, and visitors are available HERE.
The UT-Austin policy is laid out in greater detail in the University of Texas at Austin Handbook of Operating Procedures (81060).
The UTSA policy is documented throughout UTSA's campus carry website. The main page of the website states, "Key areas
where handguns are not permitted at UTSA include...Certain solely occupied faculty and staff offices."
The page detailing all of UTSA's campus carry policies states that the licensed, concealed carry of handguns is prohibited in
"Faculty or Staff Offices not generally open to the public that are solely occupied by a single occupant and the occupant
chooses to designate their office as an Exclusion Zone." The policy goes on to explain, "Occupants of offices that are
designated as exclusion zones must provide visitors verbal notice that the concealed carry of a handgun in the office is
prohibited. When feasible, that notice also should be provided in writing. If the occupant's duties ordinarily entail meeting
people who may be license holders, the occupant will make reasonable arrangements to meet them in another location."
UTSA's campus carry FAQ states:
19. How would I know if a faculty of staff member's office is an exclusion zone?
A. To comply with the policy, faculty and staff will be required to give verbal notification to office visitors that
handguns are not permitted and, when feasible, to provide written notice.
What Actions SCC Has Taken Thus Far
On July 29, 2016, we, the undersigned, mailed hard copies of the attached letters to UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves,
UTSA President Ricardo Romo, UT System Chancellor William McRaven, and the UT System board of regents, expressing our
belief that the policies in question are unlawful and requesting that enforcement of these policies cease immediately and
that all references to these policies be stricken from university websites and official documents.
Between 12:00 AM and 12:15 AM CDT on August 1, 2016, President Fenves, President Romo, Chancellor McRaven, and the
board of regents were sent copies of these letters by both email and fax. The emails were blind copied to your
cac@texasattorneygeneral.gov email address, so you should be able to verify the exact times they were sent.

What SCC Wants from the Office of the Attorney General of Texas
Students for Concealed Carry humbly requests that your office investigate this matter, per Texas Government Code Section
411.209, and take appropriate action to remedy these violations.
Officials at UT-Austin carefully crafted their policy so that occupants of private offices are required to give oral, rather than
written, notice. Professors are even prohibited from stating their office policies in class syllabi. This quirk of the offending
policy makes it impossible to point to offending signs or individual written notices; however, GC Sec. 411.209 requires only
the improper issuance of "communication described by Section 30.06, Penal Code," to constitute a violation. Because PC
Sec. 30.06 describes communication by "oral or written communication [emphasis added]," a violation by oral notice is no
less a violation of GC Sec. 411.209 than is a violation by written notice. Furthermore, the policy itself is detailed in writing
on UT-Austin's website and in other university documents.
The UTSA policy states that office occupants "must provide visitors verbal notice" and that "[w]hen feasible, that notice also
should be provided in writing." This ambiguous language creates the same difficulty in pointing to offending signs or
individual written notices; however, as previously noted, oral notice can constitute a violation under GC Sec. 411.209. As
with UT-Austin, the UTSA policy is detailed in writing on UTSA's website.
Since mailing the original (July 29) letters to the parties responsible for the UT-Austin and UTSA policies, we have learned
that the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Texas at Dallas have adopted similar policies and that numerous
other campuses/institutions within the University of Texas System are considering such policies. We implore you to take
immediate action to mitigate these efforts to circumvent the clear intent of Texas Senate Bill 11.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Students for Concealed Carry stands ready and willing to assist your office's
efforts to this end, in any way possible.
Sincerely,

Antonia Okafor
Carrollton, TX
Southwest Regional Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
antonia.okafor@concealedcampus.org

Allison Peregory
Austin, TX
Texas Legislative Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
allison.peregory@concealedcampus.org

Brian Bensimon
Austin, TX
Director for the State of Texas,
Students for Concealed Carry
brian.bensimon@concealedcampus.org

July 29, 2016
2885 Sanford Ave. SW, #24704
Grandville, MI 49418
President Gregory Fenves
University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive
Stop G3400
Austin, TX 78712-3400
Dear President Fenves:
On behalf of the Texas state chapter of Students for Concealed Carry, we wish to notify you that the
University of Texas at Austin policy dictating that "faculty and staff members who are solely assigned to an office
may prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in that office" violates both the letter and intent of Texas's
campus carry law (Senate Bill 11, 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature) and is, therefore, a violation of
Texas Government Code Section 411.209.
Per Texas Government Code Section 411.209, we hereby request that enforcement of this policy cease
immediately and that all references to it be stricken from official university literature and documents, including
but not limited to the university's campus carry information website, the university's campus carry information
sheets, the university's handbook of operating procedures, the university's policies for campus police, and the
university's student, faculty, and staff handbooks/codes of conduct.
Thank you for your time and for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,

Antonia Okafor
Carrollton, TX
Southwest Regional Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
antonia.okafor@concealedcampus.org

Allison Peregory
Austin, TX
Texas Legislative Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
allison.peregory@concealedcampus.org

Brian Bensimon
Austin, TX
Director for the State of Texas,
Students for Concealed Carry
brian.bensimon@concealedcampus.org

July 29, 2016
2885 Sanford Ave. SW, #24704
Grandville, MI 49418
President Ricardo Romo
University of Texas at San Antonio
Main Building, Suite 4.122
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
Dear President Romo:
On behalf of the Texas state chapter of Students for Concealed Carry, we wish to notify you that the
University of Texas at San Antonio policy dictating that the licensed, concealed carry of handguns is prohibited in
"Faculty or Staff Offices not generally open to the public that are solely occupied by a single occupant and the
occupant chooses to designate their office as an Exclusion Zone" violates both the letter and intent of Texas's
campus carry law (Senate Bill 11, 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature) and is, therefore, a violation of
Texas Government Code Section 411.209.
Per Texas Government Code Section 411.209, we hereby request that enforcement of this policy cease
immediately and that all references to it be stricken from official university literature and documents, including
but not limited to the UTSA campus carry policy, the university's campus carry information website, the
university's campus carry information sheets, the university's handbook of operating procedures, the
university's policies for campus police, and the university's student, faculty, and staff handbooks/codes of
conduct.
Thank you for your time and for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,

Antonia Okafor
Carrollton, TX
Southwest Regional Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
antonia.okafor@concealedcampus.org

Allison Peregory
Austin, TX
Texas Legislative Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
allison.peregory@concealedcampus.org

Brian Bensimon
Austin, TX
Director for the State of Texas,
Students for Concealed Carry
brian.bensimon@concealedcampus.org

July 29, 2016
2885 Sanford Ave. SW, #24704
Grandville, MI 49418
Chancellor William McRaven
University of Texas System
601 Colorado Street, 4th Floor
Austin, Texas 78701
Dear Chancellor McRaven:
On behalf of the Texas state chapter of Students for Concealed Carry, we wish to notify you that both the
University of Texas at Austin policy dictating that "faculty and staff members who are solely assigned to an office
may prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in that office" and the University of Texas at San Antonio policy
dictating that the licensed, concealed carry of handguns is prohibited in "Faculty or Staff Offices not generally
open to the public that are solely occupied by a single occupant and the occupant chooses to designate their
office as an Exclusion Zone" violate both the letter and intent of Texas's campus carry law (Senate Bill 11, 84th
Regular Session of the Texas Legislature) and is, therefore, a violation of Texas Government Code Section 411.209.
Per Texas Government Code Section 411.209, we hereby request that enforcement of these policies cease
immediately and that all references to them be stricken from official university literature and documents,
including but not limited to the UT-Austin and UTSA campus carry policies, the UT-Austin and UTSA campus carry
information websites, the UT-Austin and UTSA campus carry information sheets, the UT-Austin and UTSA
handbooks of operating procedures, the UT-Austin and UTSA policies for campus police, and the UT-Austin and
UTSA handbooks/codes of conduct for students, faculty, and staff.
Thank you for your time and for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,

Antonia Okafor
Carrollton, TX
Southwest Regional Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
antonia.okafor@concealedcampus.org

Allison Peregory
Austin, TX
Texas Legislative Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
allison.peregory@concealedcampus.org

Brian Bensimon
Austin, TX
Director for the State of Texas,
Students for Concealed Carry
brian.bensimon@concealedcampus.org

July 29, 2016
2885 Sanford Ave. SW, #24704
Grandville, MI 49418
Board of Regents
The University of Texas System
601 Colorado Street
Austin, TX 78701-2904
Dear University of Texas System Board of Regents:
On behalf of the Texas state chapter of Students for Concealed Carry, we wish to notify you that both the
University of Texas at Austin policy dictating that "faculty and staff members who are solely assigned to an office
may prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun in that office" and the University of Texas at San Antonio policy
dictating that the licensed, concealed carry of handguns is prohibited in "Faculty or Staff Offices not generally
open to the public that are solely occupied by a single occupant and the occupant chooses to designate their
office as an Exclusion Zone" violate both the letter and intent of Texas's campus carry law (Senate Bill 11, 84th
Regular Session of the Texas Legislature) and is, therefore, a violation of Texas Government Code Section 411.209.
Per Texas Government Code Section 411.209, we hereby request that enforcement of these policies cease
immediately and that all references to them be stricken from official university literature and documents,
including but not limited to the UT-Austin and UTSA campus carry policies, the UT-Austin and UTSA campus carry
information websites, the UT-Austin and UTSA campus carry information sheets, the UT-Austin and UTSA
handbooks of operating procedures, the UT-Austin and UTSA policies for campus police, and the UT-Austin and
UTSA handbooks/codes of conduct for students, faculty, and staff.
Thank you for your time and for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,

Antonia Okafor
Carrollton, TX
Southwest Regional Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
antonia.okafor@concealedcampus.org

Allison Peregory
Austin, TX
Texas Legislative Director,
Students for Concealed Carry
allison.peregory@concealedcampus.org

Brian Bensimon
Austin, TX
Director for the State of Texas,
Students for Concealed Carry
brian.bensimon@concealedcampus.org

Fax Confirmation Links
Board of Regents fax confirmation:
http://faxzero.com/status/17436630/01ba5caea93afb47c46dd278a08aae655361bcad
Chancellor McRaven fax confirmation:
http://faxzero.com/status/17436634/3d26d0c61a0b5b0f2215d83ce233f4cafb7480cb
President Fenves fax confirmation:
http://faxzero.com/status/17436638/78010a2aa7b014046f7edbeb05e4a052ffe6e814
President Romo fax confirmation:
http://faxzero.com/status/17436640/951425a5869f2539d7afb0459e04f81fdc822629

On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, the Associated Press released
this photograph—taken August 1, 2016—of University of Texas
at Austin anthropology professor Pauline Strong, Ph.D., posting
a "NO FIREARMS ALLOWED" sign on her office (SAC 4.130)
door, in apparent disregard for the university's policy that "oral
notice is the only legally effective way to provide notice about
the prohibition."

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