BEAUMONT - Game day for Lamar University is full of Texas tradition but one Lone Star state staple will still have to stay out: handguns. Concealed carry of handguns is allowed on University campuses now but stadiums are still gun-free.
“It's actually against the policy of Lamar University and it's against the law to carry [at] a sporting event,” said Corporal Jarrod Samford with the Lamar University Police Department.
Texas penal code 46 makes it illegal for anyone to have a gun at sporting events. It's a class A misdemeanor if you do. If there's alcohol sales being made at the stadium, the charge upgrades to a third degree felony. There are, however, places on campus license to carry holders can have their weapons.
“I understand if the University doesn't want guns in the dormitories or in the biomedical engineer or something but in the library, on campus, across the quad, I think it makes it safer campus,” said small business advisor, Lloyd Arnold.
The University employee is thrilled campus carry took effect at the start of August. Campus police say the first month of school with the policy in place has gone smoothly. Informational meetings about the new law have also been well received.
Student Cassie Jenkins asked questions at one of those meetings Friday and encourages others to participate in the next one, next week.
“I'm very kind anxious about the subject, being on campus and all but I definitely learned a lot,” said Jenkins. “I feel pretty safe after hearing all this.”
Another University employee with concerns before the policy training says she's breathing easier, now that she knows the rules.
“I feel safe. I like the rules and regulations,” said Letoria Webb. “I appreciate the fact that there are consequences if someone is walking around with a handgun that is not concealed.”
Police say Webb is on target. Officers remind students and staff that open carry on campus is still illegal. If you're a licensed gun holder, the weapon has to stay completely concealed or officers will stop you.
There are gun free zones on campus as well. For more information about the designated areas and other policy notes click here to read Lamar University’s campus carry policy: Concealed Handgun Policy
(© 2016 KBMT)