Gov. Bill Haslam has allowed a controversial guns-on-campus bill to become law without his signature.
The governor says he prefers to let campuses make their own decision about whether employees can go armed.
The decision is meeting with mixed reaction at Chattanooga State and UTC.
According to the new law, any employee interested in carrying a gun on campus can do so, under certain conditions.
The employee would be required to notify the law enforcement agency at the college or university.
There will also be some limitations as to where they can go with the weapon—like a stadium or gymnasium during school-sponsored events. .
Chattanooga state’s leaders are reluctantly going along.
NANCY PATTERSON, V.P. PUBLIC RELATIONS , CHATTANOOGA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE “While Dr. Tydings and others on our campus worked in opposition of this bill, we know that without the governor’s signature it will become a law, and Chattanooga State is continuing to be committed to a safe learning environment, we will follow the laws of the state of Tennessee.”
The legislation got a good reception from students we spoke with.
GARY TIMMONS, STUDENT “If its going to make this campus and make this school more safer, yeah, I’m for it.”
MIYA WILLIAMS, STUDENT “As students we would know about…we would be safe..so I have no problem against it.”
The terrorist incident at the Naval training facility last July is still on the minds of students.
MELISSA KEAN, STUDENT “Because of what happened last year, with the shooting there in the back, I honestly feel like that gentleman was coming here ..to kill more.”
At UTC, administrators are also coming to terms with the new state law.
CHUCK CANTRELL, VICE CHANCELLOR, UTC “Obviously since this bill has passed we will abide by the law and we’ll be looking at policies on how to implement that.”
Chattanooga State police chief Curtis Greene tells us that individuals who will carry weapons on campus will have to register them and also attend a training session conducted by his department.