Campus carry for colleges and universities in Tennessee cleared another hurdle Tuesday and now heads to the Senate for a vote next week.
The legislation, Senate Bill 2376, passed the House Civil Justice Committee by a vote of 7-2. It gives faculty and other school employees with concealed carry permits permision to carry guns for defense of themselves and students.
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus (CKGOC) offers ongoing opposition to allowing concealed carry permit holders to have guns on campus for self-defense, and they are actively opposing SB 2376. CKGOC has rallied against SB 2376 at every turn in the road by making the same arguments that were unsuccessfully made against campus carry legislation in Idaho, Kansas, and Texas. They claim SB 2376 is being pushed by “gun lobby-backed legislators are determined to push [it] without considering the variety of unintended consequences, risk to public safety and increased costs that will be passed on in the form of tuition hikes.”
When campus carry was being considered in Texas, opponents went so far as to suggest that its passage would reduce funding for cancer research.
According to The Daily Helmsman, Stuart Dedmon, University of Memphis student and state president of Students for Concealed Carry, responded to opponents of the Tennessee campus carry legislation, saying, “The bill in no way changes who has the lawful right to carry,” adding that “it only removes the geographical barriers that are currently placed on permit-holding faculty. Several states already allow this, and it has been a non-issue. I expect that it will be the same case in Tennessee.”