Tennessee colleges work on guidelines for new open carry law

Gun Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In two weeks, Tennessee law will allow full-time staff and faculty who have carry permits to bring guns onto campus.

Schools are now working to establish guidelines.

“I don’t like guns. They make me feel unsafe,” said Ryan Ho, a soon-to-be senior at Middle Tennessee State University.

MORE: UT provides guidelines for faculty on campus carry law

The Economics and Finance major doesn’t like the new law.

“I’m concerned if they play the hero, I think, that would end up having more people harmed.”

Tracey Viles, a full-time staff member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, favors the new law. She has a carry permit and says the law makes her feel safer.

“I feel safer having a gun with me,” Viles said. “People who have a carry permit, we go through certain steps. The average person doesn’t walk in and say, ‘I want a permit.’”

The new law allows schools to craft policies that fit the needs of each campus.

At MTSU, Police Chief Buddy Peaster is part of that process.

“For us, the good thing is we have the ability to craft our own policy, as long as it meets the standards and requirements of the law and that is great because MTSU is different than ETSU or Austin Peay or TSU or UT Knoxville, and so we can take the flavor of our environment and see how this law needs to be adapted into a policy that works for people who work and live and go to school here,” stated Peaster.

TSU issued the following statement when asked about its policy.

Tennessee State University is currently finalizing its handgun carry policy and preparing for its implementation. TSU is conferring with the Tennessee Board of Regents and other TBR institutions in developing and implementing its policy. TSUPD will lead the university’s enforcement of its Handgun Carry policy. For security reasons, TSU is not able to discuss any changes to its emergency response practices in connection with the new policy.”

Austin Peay University’s policy mirrors one put forth by the Tennessee Board of Regents, which a committee will vote on later this month.

The new law goes into effect July 1st.

According to the Board of Regents, there are places where guns are prohibited like health centers and athletic venues.

News 2 contacted other schools about the new law, but they have not finalized their plans yet.

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