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Campus carry controversy

Universities take different stances on handguns

By Kaitie Christenberry |Echo

On Monday, Tennessee passed a law allowing faculty on college campuses to carry concealed handguns. SB 2376 only applies to full-time employees and protects higher education institutions against any monetary liability for handgun use.

For the gun campus thingyIn order to concealed carry, employees must first have a valid concealed carry permit and notify local law enforcement. According to The Washington Post, “handguns can’t be brought into stadiums or gymnasiums” and students aren’t permitted to carry handguns while on campus.

The Associated Press reported that President Joe DePietro said that the University of Tennessee decided to negotiate with sponsors because they “recognized early in the process that the bill had a great likelihood of passing.”

The Tennessee bill is the not the first of its kind.

On Tuesday, Georgia vetoed its own “campus carry” bill, HB 859. Campuses and buildings owned by any public college, tech school or other institution would have permitted guns except for areas where athletic events are held, dorms and fraternity and sorority houses.

During the hearing, Governor Nathan Deal said, that campuses shouldn’t allow guns without stricter rules on how they can be carried. In explaining why he didn’t allow the bill to pass, Deal also quoted the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and minutes from an Oct. 4, 1824 meeting that took place at the University of Virginia.

The Tennessean quoted NRA lobbyist, Erin Looper, that without guns, campuses will become a place for “murderers, rapists and other criminals to commit crimes without fear” of their victims defending themselves.

University of Tennessee President Bruce MacLennan, said, “Overall, the (Faculty Senate) thinks the bill is a very bad idea.”

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