When did the campus handgun carry permit law go into effect?
The law was passed on May 2, 2016 and went into effect July 1, 2016.
Who may carry a handgun on campus?
Employees of the college with a valid permit to carry that are in full time status only.
Full time employee who is a student but only has online classes and does not attend class on a campus site.
Law enforcement and military officers in the commission of their duties.
Who may NOT carry a handgun on campus?
An employee that is also enrolled as a student.
Regular part time or temporary part time employees (with exception of law enforcement in the course of their duties).
Adjunct faculty working less than full time.
Independent contractors such as food services, bookstore employees, entity employees leasing facilities, etc.
Employees of another institution working on or visiting the WSCC campus such as co-hort faculty
Formal meetings regarding employee or student disciplinary matters
Formal meetings regarding tenure issues.
A hospital, or an office where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided, such as a clinic, student health center or a mental health counseling center.
In any motor vehicle that is owned, operated, or controlled by a TBR institution provided to an employee for use during the course of employment.
Any other TBR institution at which you are not employed
Public K-12 school buildings, buses, recreation and athletic areas, and any other property owned and operated by the Department of Education.
At any private institution which prohibits possession of firearms.
While under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.
While consuming liquor, wine, beer, or other alcoholic beverages within the confines of an establishment open to the public where beverages are served for consumption on the premises.
Is it required for me to carry a weapon?
No. Unless carrying a handgun is a requirement of the employee’s job description, the carrying of a handgun is a personal choice for personal protection only and is not a requirement of the employing institution.
Employee choosing to carry a weapon for personal protection:
Is not acting in the course of, or scope of, their employment when carrying or using a handgun
Is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under TCA 9-8-307 (a) (I) (k) for injuries arising from the carrying or use of a handgun; or
Is not immune from personal liability with respect to use or carrying of a handgun under TCA 9-8-307 (h).
Am I limited to the weapon I can carry?
If you have a valid handgun carry permit, the permit covers any handgun that you carry. The permit does not pertain to long guns and other weapons.
Will firearms training be provided?
No. Firearms training will not be provided as this would present a liability issue to the college. However, education on the law and policy will be provided.
What if I feel threatened by someone who I know to be a registered to carry a handgun on campus, what do I do?
Immediately report your concerns to your immediate supervisor, appropriate vice president and/or campus police.
Print and/or read the “Firearms and other Weapons” policy
Print and/or read the State laws
Print and complete the “Firearms Registration” form
Complete all information and sign both the registration form and the “Summary of Campus Concealed Carry Rights and Responsibilities” form
Place in a sealed envelope and return to Chief Sarah Rose or any campus police office or officer to forward to Chief Rose on the Morristown campus.
Once the handgun carry permit, driver’s license and full time status has been verified in approximately 3-5 days you should receive a WSCC registration card.
Do I have to also register with local law enforcement agencies?
Technically, yes. However, to prevent you from having to register with each individual agency where you may be carrying on campus, campus police will supply each law enforcement agency in each campus jurisdiction with a roster of employees permitted to carry on campus.
If I am in the process of registering can I go ahead and carry my weapon?
No. You must wait until your campus registration card is received.
Is my registration information confidential?
Yes. Registered names and other identifying information is confidential and not open for public inspection. Registration information may only be shared with campus police and local law enforcement. Information as to who on campus is registered to carry cannot be shared with supervisors. Only the number of permits issued may be shared with administration.
Can I tell others that I am a registered carry permit holder and that I carry on campus?
According to the law (TCA 39-17-1309) Employees who elect to carry a handgun shall not disclose the fact they are carrying a handgun with the intent to intimidate or threaten other employees, students or third parties.
The right to confidentiality belongs to the employee who registers to carry the handgun and that employee may tell others that he or she is carrying without violating the policy.
When would an employee have to show their permit and registration card?
Whenever a campus or local law enforcement officer requests you to do so.
Do I have to carry my permit and registration card at all times?
Yes, you must carry both your permit to carry and your WSCC registration card at any time you are carrying your weapon on campus.
Does the permit to carry and campus registration cover any handgun that I choose to carry?
The permit to carry allows you to carry any handgun of your choice. It does not allow you to carry long guns or other weapons.
Can I carry my handgun openly on campus?
No. Handguns carried on campus must be carried concealed at all times.
Where can I NOT carry a weapon on campus?
When school sponsored events such as ball games; pep rallies; convocations; graduations; concerts; plays, and other entertainment are in progress weapons may not be carried in stadiums, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.
Can I store my weapon on campus?
No. Employees may not store their weapons in a locked drawer or gun safe in their office. Employees must carry the weapon or secure it in their person motor vehicle.
Can I store my weapon in a locked drawer, cabinet or gun safe in my office?
No, the law and policy provides:
When on the premises of the TBR institution where employed, employees who are registered to carry a handgun on the premises under T.C.A. § 39-17-1309(e)(9) and the TBR and campus policy must have the handgun either:
On or about their person, which means that the gun must be carried concealed on the person or it must be carried concealed in a handbag, briefcase or other carrying case that remains within an arm’s reach of the person at all times; or
Secured in their personal motor vehicle in accordance with T.C.A. § 39-17-1313
Employees may not store their weapons in a locked drawer or gun safe in their offices. They must CARRY the weapon or secure it in their personal motor vehicle under the “guns in trunks” law.
Are ceremonial weapons or weapons used as props or for class demonstrations allowed on campus?
Yes, however you must receive approval from the appropriate Vice President. The Vice President must notify campus police of the person that will be in possession of the weapon, what the weapon is, the day and time and what campus/building they will be transporting the weapon to.
If I injure myself or someone else as result of carrying a weapon or if I choose not to use my weapon to protect others; is the college liable?
No. A TBR institution is absolutely immune from claims for monetary damages arising solely from or related to an employee’s use of, or failure to use, a handgun by an employee of that institution who has elected to carry a handgun under TCA 39-17-1309 (e) (9).
If there is an active shooter or other situation and I choose not to use my handgun to protect someone else; am I liable?
No. According to the law the weapon is for your personal protection and not for you to use in any tactical manner or situation or for the protection of others.
If I injure myself or another person with my weapon am I liable?
Yes. By registering as a handgun carry permit holder to carry a weapon on campus you accept responsibility for any use and/or injuries caused by the utilization of your weapon.
Violations and Ramifications
What happens if an employee violates the law or policy?
Violation of the campus policy and/or the applicable laws regarding possession of firearms or other weapons on TBR institution property shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination or employment.
What if someone accidentally sees my concealed weapon; what are the ramifications?
If a complaint is received, you may be approached by a campus police officer and asked to produce your handgun carry permit and your WSCC registration card. You will likely be counseled as to better concealment of your weapon. You have not violated policy or law because it was unintentional.
At what point is it appropriate to not keep the weapon concealed?
Only as a matter of personal protection. It must be concealed at all other times.
What if I am attending an event and I realize I have my weapon on; can I give it to a campus police officer to secure for me?
No. You will be asked to take the weapon to your motor vehicle and secure it there. Campus police officers will not accept responsibility for storage of your weapon.
Can a non-student, non-employee adult have a firearm in their possession on campus?
Yes, but only with a valid permit to carry and the weapon must be contained within a private vehicle operated by the adult and not handled by the adult, or by any other person, while the vehicle is on institution property.
Can an off duty law enforcement officer who is a student in class carry his/her weapon?
Yes, certified officers in the official capacity of their duties may carry their service weapon on or off duty on campus. If officers are in plain clothes (not in uniform) the weapon must be worn concealed.
If I work in IET and my job requires that I must be in the gym, theater, stadium, lyceum or other auditoriums can I carry my weapon?
As long as there is not an entertainment program or event such as a ball game, play, graduation, etc. in progress you may. However, if an event is in progress you may not.
Can I, as a supervisor, know who in my division is a registered carrier?
No. You may request the number of registered handgun carry permit holders campus wide from campus police however, that number cannot be broken down by campus, building or division.
If I am having a meeting with a student can I carry my weapon?
You may not carry your weapon during a formal meeting about discipline or misconduct.
If you are having a casual, informal discussion you may carry your weapon.
If I am a full time employee but also enrolled as a student may I carry a weapon?
No. Student status outweighs employee status. You may not carry a concealed weapon.