On July 1, a new state law takes effect that allows Tennessee’s public colleges and universities’ full-time faculty and staff, who have handgun-carry permits, to carry handguns on campus. I want to share information about the law and the new safety policy we have adopted in response.
Safety Policy 0875 addresses how UT applies the many different state laws regarding firearms and clarifies when an employee may and may not legally carry a handgun on University property.
The policy, which also takes effect July 1, expands on the following key provisions of state law:
- Full-time UT employees with valid Tennessee handgun-carry permits may carry handguns on UT property, if:
- They are not enrolled as students; and
- They notify the law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over the UT property on which they will be carrying a handgun
- Employees must display their handgun-carry permits on request of law enforcement officers
- Employees must not:
- Carry a weapon other than a handgun
- Carry a handgun openly or in any other manner in which the handgun is visible to ordinary observation
- Carry a handgun at certain times and locations, such as:
- Stadiums, gymnasiums or auditoriums where University-sponsored events are in progress
- In meetings regarding disciplinary matters or tenure
I encourage you to review the policy in its entirety and answers to frequently asked questions provided here.
Additional information about implementation efforts will be shared soon by each campus and institute. Questions can be directed to the law enforcement contacts listed within the policy.
I understand strong feelings exist regarding guns on campus and want to assure you of our unwavering commitment to the safety of our faculty, staff and students as we implement this change.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I appreciate everything you do for the University.
I have to admit that I found the tenure proceeding exclusion a little amusing. One would like to think that those who were up for this would have some maturity, but one can never assume anything these days.
I’m not sure about the student exclusion either, having spent the last five years as student and faculty at the same time. I suppose that being a faculty member and student at the same time is so surreal that your mental state cannot be trusted. I also had a student whose Mother’s Day tribute showed her and her mom at the firing range, so there are some students who could put the hurts on a potential mass shooter.
I’m not completely sold on this, we will have to see. In the “old days,” if a person did carry on campus and saved someone’s life, the authorities would have been lenient, but we don’t live in that time any more. But then again we’re coming up on the first anniversary of the Chattanooga shooting, and the perpetrator of that was a UTC Electrical Engineering graduate.