The Slatest

New Tennessee Law Allows College Faculty and Staff to Carry Guns on Campus

Students at University of Tennessee Knoxville.


In Tennessee, a law passed Monday will allow fulltime faculty and staff of the state’s public colleges and universities to carry guns on campus. The bill injects Tennessee into a growing national debate about guns on college campuses, but is more restrictive than similar campus carry measures proposed elsewhere, like Texas and Georgia. The law, for instance, does not allow for students to carry firearms on campus, even though Tennessee allows open and concealed carry elsewhere in the state.


Even still, the new legislation will mean some 27,000 faculty and staff will now be able to bring guns to work on Tennessee campuses. Here’s more on some of the restrictions they’ll face from the Tennessean:

Any employee interested in carrying a weapon on campus would be required to notify the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the property and would face some limitations as to where they can carry a gun, which would have to be concealed. Valid permit holders could not bring a weapon into a stadium or gymnasium during school-sponsored events or in meetings regarding discipline or tenure. The legislation was also amended to place liability on the permit holder rather than the university in the event of an accidental discharge.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam allowed the bill to become law without his signature because he said decisions about guns on campus should be made by the individual institutions themselves. Univ. of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro said the university’s “position has been and continues to be that we do not support, as a general premise, any measure that would increase the number of guns on college campuses other than already are allowed by law.