A new bill introduced in the Tennessee state legislature would, if passed, allow students to carry concealed handguns on all public college and university campuses.
The Tennessean reports that “According to the legislation, HB 2102 and SB 2288, registered students authorized to carry a concealed weapon would be able to take them anywhere on property that is owned, operated and controlled by their public institution.”
Students would need to comply with federal and state requirements, which includes being at least 21 years of age, possessing a concealed carry permit, and paying a fee.
State Rep. Rush Bricken (R - Tullahoma), one of the bill’s sponsors, said he put the bill forward so students could protect themselves against gunmen on campuses.
“This was a constituent request that comes from a movement across the nation to allow gun owners with the appropriate permits to carry their concealed weapons on college campuses for personal safety," said Bricken. "The most effective way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. This bill applies to law-abiding citizens who are properly trained and permitted.”
State Sen. Janice Bowling (R - Tullahoma), who sponsored the Senate’s version of the bill, agreed, saying in a statement that "Adults with handgun permits should be allowed to conceal carry wherever they are for their own protection, including college campuses."
Tennessee already passed a bill in 2016 allowing college and university faculty to carry concealed weapons if they first notify law enforcement. Roughly a dozen states currently allow students to carry concealed firearms on campus.