NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement in response to House passage of Senate Bill 2376, which would force Tennessee’s public colleges and universities to allow full-time employees to carry guns on campus. Headed to Governor Haslam’s desk, SB 2376 has been widely opposed by Tennessee’s college administrators, students, faculty, campus security officers and others.
Earlier this month, volunteers with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America testified against SB 2376 before the House Civil Justice Committee at the State Capitol.
STATEMENT FROM JODI POLAHA, A FACULTY MEMBER AT EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY AND VOLUNTEER WITH THE TENNESSEE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Today, Tennessee lawmakers ignored the voices of those who know campus life best – including students, administrators and campus security – by passing this dangerous piece of legislation that would force Tennessee’s colleges and universities to allow guns on campus. Students and faculty should feel safe on campus, not worry if someone is carrying a gun in their classroom. We urge Governor Haslam to stand on the side of public safety, listen to university leaders and veto this dangerous legislation.”
Last year, Tennessee was one of seventeen states that rejected guns on campus legislation. Texas and Idaho are two of the only states to pass guns on campus bills in recent years and they are already seeing the consequences. Just two weeks after Idaho’s guns on campus bill went into effect, a professor shot himself in the foot during class. And in Texas, renowned professors have announced that they will leave the UT system to take jobs in other states, while many of the educators who have remained in Texas have said that the law is undermining professors’ ability to teach. What’s more, Texas will have to endure skyrocketing insurance and security costs as a result of the law – expenses that will cut into research budgets.
Earlier this month, Governor Haslam signed legislation that requires the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to notify local officials when dangerous domestic abusers try to buy a gun and fail a background check. Just after Governor Haslam signed House Bill 1964, the legislature rejected a dangerous piece of legislation – Senate Bill 1613 – that would have allowed violent felons – including those convicted of voluntary manslaughter, felony domestic abuse, aggravated robbery and even kidnapping – to regain their ability to possess firearms almost immediately after their sentence is completed.