ETSU website outlines guns on campus policy ahead of July 1 launch date

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- In one week, full-time employees at colleges and universities in Tennessee will be able to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

The governing body for several of Tennessee’s colleges and universities discussed and approved the policy Friday.

This comes in response to a new law passed without Governor Bill Haslam’s signature last month.

At ETSU July 1 is a date officials have been preparing for, for months now.

Dean of Students at ETSU, Jeff Howard, said in order to help people navigate what the new law means for the campus, they have launched a website.

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“The law allows full time faculty and staff, who are holders of a carry permit, to carry in certain locations on campus,” Howard said.

The website shows people who is eligible to carry, and where.

“I can also not carry on the VA grounds, that’s federal property, I can’t carry in child care facilities, health care facilities,” Howard said.

Howard said one of the most frequently asked questions about this new law is will there be any way to tell who is carrying on campus.

“Their names are confidential, it will be on file with public safety,” Howard said.

Howard said if you do see a gun on campus, you should alert police immediately.

“You should not, in going about your normal duties, see a weapon, call public safety, alert them immediately,” Howard said.

Friday morning, the Tennessee Board of Regents adopted their own guidelines for firearms.

Chancellor David Gregory said the guidelines will apply to community colleges and TCAT’s.

“We did not favor the legislation, but we are committed to implementing the legislation. How do you legally do this, in other words, how do you register,” Gregory said.

Both the Board of Regents, and officials at ETSU reiterated that safety is their number one priority.

“The gun law is a state law, as a state institution we’ve implemented a policy to comply with the law, but first and foremost is campus safety in all of our minds,” Howard said.

ETSU officials said Friday if you do see someone on campus with a gun, you should call police.

Under the new law, if someone is carrying a gun it must be concealed.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All Rights Reserved. 

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