Guns to be allowed on Tennessee college campuses

by Marty Carlson

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam allowed a new campus carry bill to become law without his signature on Monday, meaning staff and faculty members at public Tennessee colleges will be able to carry guns on campus soon.

Faculty staff and other employees who possess state issued handgun licenses will be allowed to be armed a public campuses effective July 1.

The governor stated that he is letting the proposal, SB 2376, to become law without his signature. He went on to say “I have long stated a preference for systems and institutions to be able to make their own decision regarding security issues on campus.”

One of the requirements of the law will be those caring the guns to notify local law enforcement which is a provision Haslam stated address the concerns raised by the administrators of the colleges during the legislative process.

There will be still school sponsored events such as football and basketball games, hospitals, or offices were medical or mental health services are provided with a gun so still be banned. In addition, firearms also continue to be banned in locations existing laws currently do not allow, such as day care centers and on campus elementary schools.

Despite the relative ease that this passed the legislature in April, it continues to have many critics including the president of University of Tennessee Joe Dipietro.

The president was quoted as saying “that his position has been and continues to be that he does not support, as a general rule, any legislation that would increase the number of guns on college campuses.

The law, sponsored by Andy Holt (R), apparently only applies to staff and does not allow for students to carry firearms on campus. But went on to say that we need to stop talking about college student as children, they are adults, and have the same constitutional rights as others.

Apparently other states are considering or working on the same type of legislation, Georgia governor Nathan deal is currently contemplating a measure which he must decide by today that will allow anyone over the age of 21 to carry a weapon on public campuses. According to a report by the education commission of the states, policies to allow guns on campus in nine other states is currently in the works.