Colleges Not on Board with Guns on Campus

Tennessee is one of at least half a dozen states this year that’s considering allowing concealed guns on college campuses. But, colleges are saying, “no thanks.”

“The presence of concealed weapons on campus would make campuses far less safe. They are, currently, some of the safest places in the country.”

That’s University of Tennessee Professor Toby Boulet. He’s the immediate past president of UT’s Faculty Senate, and also a member of the University of Tennessee’s board of trustees.

Yesterday, the UT Faculty Senate unanimously approved a resolution Boulet co-authored that formally rejects a bill allowing staff members at public colleges and universities in Tennessee to bring their guns to school. The gun owner would have to be licensed to carry a concealed gun.

The bill’s senate sponsor is Stacey Campfield, whose district includes UT.

“Look at situations where they’ve banned guns on campus…you can look at Virgina Tech. The paper sign has never stopped anyone with a gun ever.”

Currently, only the police, military and security are allowed to carry guns on college campuses in Tennessee. Boulet wants to keep it that way.

“Improvements to campus safety come from things like adequate resources for the police department…the UT alert system that we have. Most of the systems are in place, all they really need is good maintenance.”

UT isn’t the only Tennessee college upset with Campfield’s bill. The Tennessee Board of Regents, which oversees public colleges such as Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University, told the Knoxville News Sentinel it is also opposed to allowing guns on campus.

Students and faculty have voiced similar concerns in Idaho, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. Lawmakers there are also considering allowing either faculty, students, or both, to carry concealed guns on campus.

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