Senate Expands Guns-in-Trunks to College Campuses; House Vote Approaching

Category: Gun Legislation

The Tennessee State Capitol Building at sunset.

The Senate has passed legislation that forbids public colleges and universities from maintaining institutional policies that prohibit permit-holding students or employees from storing a firearm or ammunition in their parked vehicle while on campus property. The measure, sponsored by Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Representative Courtney Rogers (R-Goodlettsville), gained traction early in the legislative session as lawmakers generally viewed it as a technical correction and natural extension of the guns-in-trunks legislation amended in 2014. The bill sailed through the Senate on Monday with a 29-0 floor vote.

The House version of the bill was approved by the House Education Administration and Planning Committee on Tuesday and has been calendared for the House floor on Monday, March 14.

The language of the bill specifically prohibits “public postsecondary institutions from taking any adverse action against an employee or student as a result of such person’s lawful transportation and storage of a firearm or ammunition in the person’s parked motor vehicle.” The University was successful in securing amendatory language to the House bill that specifies adverse action may not be taken solely as a result of a student or employee’s lawful transportation of a firearm in their vehicle—an important technical distinction that provides public higher education with latitude in situations where disciplinary action is warranted due to corresponding threats or other violations.


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