It's been two years since the state of Texas passed legislation known as campus carry that allows individuals who have a concealed handgun permit to bring their licensed firearm to college campuses. Since the change, Grayson College police say that the law has not affected them much.

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“We have our officers on campus that are working are eligible to carry,” Grayson College Chief of Police Kevin Nugent said. “We also have a police academy and we have officers from other police departments that come in that are also on our campus. They will be open carry. As far as license to carry it is all concealed. We haven't had any problems with that as far as any issues. In our training we push our students to call us if they see something that makes them uncomfortable. We always follow up on those issues.”

The policy was already implemented before Nugent stepped into his position on campus, and he said since then, there haven't been any incidents involving licensed hand gun permit owners on Grayson College campuses.

There was an incident involving a person bringing a handgun to a place it was not allowed, but that was not an individual who had been licensed to carry.

Students do not have to register with the campus, and Nugent said there is no way to know exactly how many licensed hand guns are on campus.

A large portion of the Grayson College student body are under 21, as such they would not be eligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit under current state law. However, Nugent did say while there are fewer restrictions on knives, long barrel guns, such as assault rifles, are already disallowed from campus. He said there are discussions in the legislature to change the definition of which types of knives might be banned but he couldn't get into specifics at this time.

Aside from specifically designated places, such as sporting events where guns are forbidden entirely, as long as the individual is properly licensed, they have a right to carry a concealed handgun on the campus. Nugent said that right extends to people visiting the campus as well.

Campus police department operates the same as any other law enforcement department complete with the authority to make arrests. Nugent said there are officers who are armed as in any police department in the state, and there is a civilian component to the department with individuals who do not carry a handgun on their person. Off-duty officers who carry a gun on campus will typically present their badge next to the gun.

With the national discussion on security, the campus has kept the topic of safety on the minds of those who are at the campus daily. Nugent said there are regular programs to educate students on safety.

There are signs posted that notify the public when they are approaching an area where guns are not permitted, and Nugent said sporting events or board meetings are the most common places a gun would not be allowed. The signs will be posted at all access points that lead into an area where guns are off limits.

“We're always looking to improve our services,” Nugent said. “One thing we have done recently was the addition of different lock boxes in our police academy section as far as we have police officers that are training in there. They are either coming from or going to work so they are going to be carry weapons as a training exercise. We make sure they secure their weapons while on our facility.”

The program for notifying something suspicious is called “See Something, Say Something”. There are different methods to get the tips to the department

He said there is also a behavior and intervention team that will identify students who might be under stress to get them a threat assessment to ensure they receive any help they need.

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