NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The new open carry laws give the police chief for the Nacogdoches Independent School District a reason to send out a reminder to campus visitors. He wants them to be clear about what is and isn't allowed on campus and at school events.
Nacogdoches ISD Police Chief Doug Ploch has a clear understanding of the open carry law. He wants to make sure school visitors know the law too.
"I would just like to clear the law up to make sure all of our community understands what the law is and doesn't make a mistake by walking into one of our schools," Ploch said.
The new law shouldn't cause any inconvenience for the gun-toting parent passing through the pickup line. And any person with a gun needing to go inside will need to leave the weapon in the vehicle.
"The person driving through the parking lot would not be arrested if they have their license to conceal carry," Ploch said. "Now that considers open carry and concealed carry, but guns are still not allowed in the buildings themselves."
An additional clause says no guns, concealed or open carry, are allowed at sporting events. A recent attorney general's opinion has provided even more clarification.
"In their opinion if you're holding band practice outside and marching practice in the parking lot, then that parking lot is off limit because there is a school activity taking place at the time, whereas normally that would not be off limits," Ploch said.
School districts aren't required to post gun prohibited signs, but Nacogdoches ISD, for the first time, will have them at all school and stadium entrances.
So far, the chief hasn't seen any civilian with a holstered gun.
"I haven't seen actually anywhere," Ploch said. "I don't look for there to be a big change anywhere in the state."
What could change is district weapon policies. Nacogodoches ISD school policy is no employee can bring weapons to school in their vehicle. The chief said he foresees that rule could eventually change.