On Sunday, the Tennessee University Faculty Senates (TUFS), representing over 10,000 faculty members at Tennessee’s ten public universities, publicly opposed HB2102/SB2288, which would allow students to carry concealed handguns on campuses. Speaking with Nashville’s WZTV, Dr. Pippa Holloway, the president of TUFS and a professor at MTSU, cited unintentional discharges as one of the reasons why this bill would make Tennessee college campuses less safe:
“‘The reality is, when you have guns, the likelihood of guns going off is more likely. So, when you have anybody that is armed on campus, what you’re first of all doing is increasing the likelihood of accidental discharges,’ [Dr. Holloway] says.
As WZTV notes, TSU student Rickey Scott was unintentionally shot and killed in a dorm room last year as a student handled what he believed to be a pellet gun. The station reported it spoke with several students familiar with the shooting, who told the station “they believe more guns could promote recklessness.”
Professors, students, and parents agree – guns have no place on college campuses, and state legislators shouldn’t make colleges less safe by forcing them to allow concealed handguns in dorms, classrooms, sporting events, and other sensitive areas. Allowing guns on campus could also increase the risk of gun suicide for students. The firearm suicide rate for children and teens has increased by 65 percent in the past decade – and access to firearms increases the risk of suicide by three times.
If you’d like to interview a Moms Demand Action volunteer about this bill, please reach out. More information on gun violence in Tennessee can be found here.