House sends guns-on-campus bill to governor

The House sent to Gov. Bill Haslam Wednesday a bill that will allow full-time employees and faculty members at Tennessee’s public colleges and universities who have handgun-carry permits to carry their guns on campus.

Further from Richard Locker:

The bill, which passed the Senate 28-5 on Tuesday, won House approval on a 69-24 vote. The bill does not allow students with permits to go armed.

Senate Bill 2376 also contains provisions banning employees from going armed in sports stadiums and arenas while public events are underway there and during conferences with administrators regarding their job performance and tenure.

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, said a survey of University of Tennessee faculty members that he received Tuesday found 86 percent of the faculty at the University of Tennessee were against the guns on campus bill. Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, read aloud emails from UT professors who said they would leave the state if the bill passes.

But Rep. Rick Womick, R-Murfreesboro, countered by saying, “For every one of these professors who want to leave, fine; there are more than enough who do want to carry and stay.”

The bill requires employees who decide to go armed on campus to notify the local law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction over the campus of their intent to go armed, but it keeps such information confidential from students, other employees and campus administrators.