Here Is Why Rice University In Texas Will Remain A ‘Gun Free Zone’


Rice University President David Lebrun has sent out a letter to faculty and students letting them know of his decision on allowing concealed carry on campus following the passage of SB11, which allows private institutions to opt-out of campus carry. Can you guess which way he went? Read, and discuss.

Dear Rice Colleagues and Students:

As you may recall, last spring the Texas Legislature passed and the governor signed Texas Senate Bill 11 on “campus carry.” This bill generally allows individuals with concealed handgun licenses to carry a weapon on college campuses. The bill authorizes “a private or independent institution of higher education in this state, after consulting with students, staff and faculty of the institution, [to] establish rules . . . prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns on the campus of the institution.” Thus although ultimately the decision on whether to allow guns on campus for a private institution is to be made by the administration of that institution, such a decision can only be made after the required consultation.

I write today to share my decision, based on an extensive consultation process that included many of you, to maintain Rice University’s policy of a gun-free campus. To do so, we are exercising the “opt out” provision of this new state law.

My decision was informed by a working group led by Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby that consulted with the Faculty Senate, Staff Advisory Committee, Student Association and Graduate Student Association about whether Rice should opt out of allowing concealed weapons on campus. Each of those organizations consulted with their members and collected feedback through online surveys and meetings. They shared that feedback with the working group, and the decision or sentiment expressed by each of these groups was overwhelmingly in favor of Rice exercising its ability under the legislation to opt out.


Many of the comments submitted were very passionate, reflecting a belief that guns on our campus would make the campus less safe and harm our national and international reputation. Some parents also wrote in to oppose guns on our campus. In addition, the two most relevant groups on our campus in terms of addressing the risks and benefits of this decision, the Rice University Police Department and professionals from Student Health Services and the Counseling Center, were consulted and strongly urged that we exercise the opt-out provision.

In sum, not a single constituency consulted has endorsed having guns on our campus; in fact, each overwhelming opposed it. Maintaining the safety of our students and employees is our highest priority. There is no evidence that allowing the carrying of guns on our campus will make the campus safer, and the most knowledgeable professional groups believe that guns will make campuses less safe. I agree with that conclusion, and we will therefore retain our current policy prohibiting weapons on our campus. The Rice University Police Department is trained and fully capable of doing its part to keep this campus safe. [Click here to read Rice’s weapons prohibition policy.]

I am tremendously grateful for the thoughtful and comprehensive way the working group and representative organizations went about this important process. Thank you again for contributing to this process and the outcome.

President David W. Leebron

Categories: General, Politics
About Brandon Curtis | View all posts by Brandon Curtis

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady…

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

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  • Kyle

    “and the most knowledgeable professional groups believe that guns will make campuses less safe.” Most knowledgeable according to who? If your group of friends are all idiots and everybody knows it, being the “most knowledgeable” has little to no credibility. Until we live in unrealistic and impossible world of nobody wanting to cause harm to another, any “gun free zone” will always be a target. I would rather carry and allow others to carry who now have the ability to stop the threat than simply be a defenseless in any situation.

    • ProfShadow

      Clearly they failed to look at the evidence that is available about how Gun Free Zones, and schools in particular, are targets for crazies who kill.

  • Crinklesack

    Gun free zones are easy killing zones. Whenever possible I frequent these places less and less.

  • KJQ

    The 3 states that have allowed CCW in schools for decades have never had a mass shooting. Are we ever going to use empirical evidence rather than opinions and sentiment to form security policies?

  • Doug Jeffreys

    If you have a concealed carry license, and your handgun is truly concealed, then they will never know that you have it and when the terrorists attack, and it will eventually happen, you will live and David Lebrun and his gutless friends will die.

  • dragos111

    This guy has not heard the heads of various police departments and FBI folks recommending any who can carry, should carry. He is still living in his liberal Ivy Tower.

  • 4TruthandJustice

    And here is why all public educational institutions will be forced to abandon Gun Bans and Gun Free Zones: (1) they are PUBLIC and therefore subject to state laws. Change the laws and you don’t need their agreement and can nail them for non-compliance. (2) Educators are always betting on their own image as “authoritative” but (obvious to us) they know little to nothing about the subject of self defense and the use of guns. Their unanimous choice is to ban guns and create gun-free zones which are both easily proven to be the product of IGNORANCE and poor judgement. Instead of complaining among ourselves: directly confront the public statements by public school authorities whenever you can. keep up a steady stream of letters and phone calls to state legislators and strongly support those legislators who support our point. Too much talk and poo-pooing practical, proven methods in civil action and civil duties.
    Always remember: we know far more than these people do about anything to do with guns. Basically, we are allowing those who know the least to have the most say – that is OUR mistake, not theirs.

  • Kyle Guthrie

    David Lebrun has made his decisions. He has decided the lives of his students are not as important as a politically correct stance against guns.

    We’re I a student I would ignore him.

  • Michael J DeTavernier

    The “constituencies” consulted obviously were consulted to fit your pre-determined decision.