Starting August 2017, the Concealed Carry of select guns will be legal on EPCC campuses.
EPCC Police Captain Joseph Barragan isn’t too alarmed about it.
Alina Frame / Tejano Tribune
(L-R) Lieutenant Michael Guzman and Captain Joseph A. Barragan of the EPCC police department.
“Some faculty members have pointed out the possibility of an armed student becoming irate after receiving a bad grade,” said Barragan.
EPCC offers a presentation called the Civilian Response, which teaches students and faculty how to handle an active shooter.
“I would like for everyone at the school to take it in the case that there is a shooter on campus,” said Barragan. “I want students to know that there are things they can do until we respond. It takes approximately three minutes, on average, for law enforcement to arrive at a shooting,” said Barragan
There are forums that have taken place and can be viewed on the EPCC website in the archives section. These forums and presentations have shown what concerns people have about the Concealed Carry policy.
A few things that were suggested during these forums were about locations on campuses that should be made gun free zones. There are a few areas that are already designated “gun free/safe zones.”
The “gun free/safe zones” include: Early Colleges, campus daycares and the Health and Science building at the Rio Grande Campus. For safety reasons, other areas are being considered.
Biology labs and Art classrooms are being considered because of the explosive chemicals in those areas.
Those who are licensed to carry will be responsible for becoming aware of these zones and of which guns are allowed on campus.
Those who are licensed to carry are to be well informed of these laws. Individuals will be held responsible for not obeying the laws and following strict policies.
Students shouldn’t be aware of who is carrying on campus –otherwise, it would no longer be considered concealed carry.
If a student were to become aware of a gun on campus, it would be a violation of the law and there would be a thorough investigation.
If a handgun is exposed, depending on the severity, there may be a possibility of criminal charges or administrative leave.
Our EPCC officers want to make sure that everyone on campus is safe.
“I am not for or against the Concealed Carry law on campus. Morally, I may not be in favor of it, but my job is merely to serve, protect and enforce the law,” said Barragan.
However, Barragan did express what he doesn’t like about the law.
“What I don’t like, and this is probably more personal, is that it excluded private universities,” said Barragan. “If the intent of the law is for the safety of the students, then no one should be excluded. If they were given the choice, then we should have the choice as well.”
Officers do expect there to be some issues regarding small handguns on campus. Issues may include: accidental discharges or some parking lot incidents where students may become angry and show the handgun to instigate a fight.
EPCC Police officers are well-equipped to handle these laws and any situation.