KNOXVILLE — Handguns could find their way onto Tennessee college campuses — legally — under one of the latest gun bills coming before the General Assembly.
State Rep. Stacey Campfield’s proposal, scheduled for a hearing Wednesday before a House Judiciary subcommittee, would allow any full-time faculty and staff member with a valid permit to bring a handgun onto their public college campus.
“By banning guns on campus you are not banning the criminals,” the Knoxville Republican said Monday. “All you are banning is the people from being able to defend themselves.”
But University of Tennessee officials worry about the effect.
“Based on input of our law enforcement officials and people who we think know best how to provide safety on a campus, we don’t think it is a good idea,” UT vice president Hank Dye said. “We think it could open the door to a lot of things that are detrimental to general safety.”
Yet, UT-Knoxville law professor and Libertarian Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds said he supports Campfield’s bill.
“I have a number of students who are licensed to carry weapons and I’d feel safer, not less safe, knowing that they are carrying on campus. I certainly would feel safer if some of my colleagues were armed, too,” he said.