Tenn. gun law in effect
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 23:09
In March, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law commonly called “Guns in Trunks.” The new state law went into effect on July 1, but guns are still not allowed on ETSU’s campus.
Under this law, it is not a crime for people who have a valid gun carry permit to keep a gun and ammunition in their car. Although, the gun and ammunition must be kept from ordinary observation and locked in a container securely attached to the vehicle or in the trunk or glove compartment.
The legislation does not change the Tennessee Board of Regents’ policy and institution policy, which is that possession of weapons are prohibited by employees and students on campus, even if they are left out of sight and locked in a car.
“This piece of legislation is not black and white,” said Public Safety Chief Jack Cotrel. “There is a law that allows it, but it does not supersede institution and TBR policy.”
While it would not be a state crime for a student or employee to have a gun locked in their car on campus, they would still be violating institution policy, he said.
“You have to think about under what circumstances authorities would find out someone is violating policy,” Cotrel said. “That could be if you’re stopped for violating the law.”
If a student or employee is caught in violation of institution policy, they will be asked to remove the gun from campus immediately.
Sophomore Tiffany Hughes, who is in the process of getting a gun permit, is in favor of the new piece of state legislation.
“This opens more doors than it closes for someone to feel safe,” she said. “It’s kind of like a security blanket.”
Senior Arlene Connor has a different view on the matter. “I don’t think handguns should be allowed to be left in cars,” she said. “There’s no real value in that. The only reason you would have a gun would be if you felt like you needed to use it. It’s not necessary.”