by Justin Baranski
Pellissippi State students with carry permits will be able to bring guns onto campus in locked vehicles starting this summer.
Pellissippi will follow all state laws in accordance with the state Board of Regents, said Fred Breiner, director of safety and security at Pellissippi. “If the weapons are to be locked in a vehicle, then they shouldn’t been seen on campus.”
Senate Bill 142, also known as the “guns-in-trunks” measure, was signed into law on March 15. Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill just weeks after the Tennessee Senate approved the measure by a vote of 28-5. The bill will take effect on July 1.
The bill will allow gun-permit holders to possess a firearm in their motor vehicle, whether at places of work or college campuses. The bill removes criminal penalties for bringing a firearm on private property without the owner’s knowledge.
There are more than 370,000 registered gun-permit holders in Tennessee.
Breiner said, “People that don’t have permits would be a bigger risk.”
He said that Pellissippi held its first “Safe Campus Conversations” in February, and future meetings will be held. These are available at all campuses
Keep Guns Off Campus is an organization that was established in 2008 to fight gun laws that involve school grounds from elementary to college levels. But neither the University of Tennessee or Pellissippi has joined the campaign.
Andy Pelosi, speaking for www.keepgunsoffcampus.org, said,”360 schools have signed up, and includes 129 community and junior colleges.
Fewer than 10 schools have declined, he said, and mostly because they felt their state law was tough enough.
Pellissippi State Security is present 24 hours a day ot assist Pellissippi students. “If you see something that isn’t right, let someone know,” Breiner said.
He also said that Pellissippi is currently studying the benefits of arming campus security guards. However, Pellissippi State hasn’t had any major incidents in the past.
The bill was sponsored by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, and was handled by Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin.