MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Guns are now allowed on campus at public universities around Tennessee after a controversial bill was made into law without the governor’s signature.
WREG spoke with students about Tennessee Campus Carry and how they felt about everyone from the custodial staff to the president of the university being potentially armed.
Some of them were naturally torn on the issue.
Others said it would actually make them feel safer, while others said they’re just uncomfortable with the idea of guns on campus.
“I don’t really agree with it overall. Classrooms are confined spaces, and it’s just a little unnerving,” said student Amber Coleman.
Under the new law, full-time faculty and staff members with a valid handgun carry permit will be able to carry on campus.
They’ll have to keep those weapons concealed and notify law enforcement they have the weapons.
“Because they’re responsible people who know how to carry them appropriately. They know how to use them appropriately. Because they know how to use them appropriately, I think it will create a definite change as far as within the campus,” said David Madden.
Some students told WREG you can’t assume all college faculty members are responsible.
“You really don’t know what they could do with those weapons already on them. So, they definitely need to be more careful with who they’re hiring,” said Coleman.
The law protects universities from liability, placing it instead on the permit holder if a weapon were to accidentally discharge on campus.
Governor Bill Haslam had wanted each college to be able to decide for themselves whether to allow guns, but instead recognized this version of the bill had input from campus administrators and staff.