Legislature lets private schools make gun decisions

A bill authorizing private schools and universities establish their own handgun policy is headed to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk, reports The Tennessean.

The measure (SB1599), sponsored by Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, and Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown, received approval in the House on Thursday in a 79-12 vote. It passed the Senate earlier, 29-4.)

Proponents of the legislation argued it would give private K-12 schools and higher education institutions the ability to decide whether to allow valid permit holders to carry their weapons in school buildings.

Because the legislation makes no changes for the state’s public schools, where weapons are banned, opponents have argued it establishes a separate system for private schools.