SFA police chief opens up about open carry on campus

SFA police chief opens up about open carry on campus

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - As Texas legislation moves closer to open-carry guns laws, the state is also debating how they will regulate guns on college campuses.

The House's proposed bill for open-carry on college campuses is separate from the recently approved open-carry law. It will need to be approved at a later scheduled date in congress.

Today, the Stephen F. Austin State University campus remains mostly gun-free.

“Right now only law enforcement can carry weapons on campus,” said SFA Police Chief Marc Cossich.

For those with gun licenses, they complete a special regimen.

“They can bring their guns to the police department and we'll hold them for them,” Cossich said.

Hunting weapons such as rifles, bow and arrows, and even hand guns are all held within the police station.

“We store it here, and it's in a very safe and secure place that only few people have access to,” Cossich said.

For the SFA police chief, the thought of having these guns in the hands of students is unsettling.

“I think it'll make it a less safer place for everyone,” Cossich said

He explained regulation, alone, would be very tasking for his officers.

“It's just going to bring out numbers of calls up tremendously,” Cossich said.

How does the SFA community feel about open carry on campus?

“As a person who does have a CHL, that open carry is not going to be the smartest idea,” said SFA staff member Jessica Maynard.

Maynard said she worries that students and staff would be intimidated by the presence of visible guns.

“I think that students might be intimidated and staff members might feel intimidated if they see people walking around with guns on them,” Maynard said.

While she understand it takes a great amount of responsibility to obtain a gun license, she remains cautious about this decision.

“Some people aren't really that responsible, and they might see one small threat as a reason to pull out a gun,” Maynard said.

“If this law does pass, I can definitely see us having safety classes with weapons as well,” Cossich said.

It's an attempt the chief believes will make everyone more prepared and comfortable while on campus.

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