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Firearms on Campus

Five years ago, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution expressing faculty support for current state policy prohibiting guns on campus and urging that that policy not be changed. In this, the faculty has supported UT and TBR administrators and law enforcement professionals in arguing that armed defense on our college and university campuses is a matter best entrusted to campus and local police and that people on our campuses will all be safer if the use of deadly force is left in the hands of these law enforcement officers.

In 2016, the Senate polled the faculty about their opinions regarding firearms on campus. The final results for our poll are here.

Here’s a link to a Q & A about Public Chapter 1061, passed by the legislature in 2016.  This law allows faculty and staff to carry concealed firearms on campus.

Current Legislation:


This bill would permit veterans who possess a handgun carry permit to carry a handgun while on property owned, operated, or controlled by a public institution of higher education.  This bill has no Senate equivalent.  It has not been scheduled in the House.


This bill would expand campus carry to include part time employees.  This bill has been delayed until next year in the Senate.


This bill amends a number of sections of Tennessee Code Annotated. The most significant is that it would allow anyone to carry a handgun without a permit.  This bill has failed in the House committee.


This bill would allow permit holders to carry concealed handguns into a public venue if metal detectors and security guards are not present at the entrances.  It has been taken off notice in the House.


This bill would allow a valid handgun carry permit holder to carry a firearm at any time and in any place unless the permit holder has been drinking alcohol, is in a judicial proceeding, or is on school grounds and does not tell the principal.  This bill has been delayed until next year.



Infographic about Campus Carry


Below, you will find the Faculty Senate resolution passed in March 2011, a brief summarizing the dangers of permitting guns on campus, and advice on making your views known to your representatives. (We are especially grateful to Carole R. Myers, PhD, RN, and Amanda Letheren, MPH student, for supporting research and documents.)

Faculty Senate Resolution about Guns on Campus, 2011

How to Contact a Legislator

Information About Guns on Campus

Floor Debate on the Guns on Campus bill. (Click on the link, then the Video tab, and scroll down to “SB 2376”, or hit Ctrl-F or Command-F and search for “SB2376”. Click on that item to go directly to the relevant section of the video.)

Infographic about Guns on Campus