Employees of public colleges and universities in Tennessee will be allowed to legally carry guns on public college and university campuses after the governor decided to let legislation become law without his signature.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Georgia, the governor has vetoed veto a proposal that would have allowed college students to carry concealed guns on campuses.
The Nashville Tennessean reports that the Tennessee law allows full-time faculty, staff and other employees of the state’s public colleges and universities who have handgun-carry permits to carry their guns on campus.
In a statement explaining his decision to let the bill become law, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said, "I have long stated a preference for systems and institutions to be able to make their own decisions regarding security issues on campus, and I again expressed this concern throughout the legislative process this year."
Despite those objections, Haslam decided not to veto the legislation and contended that the final version of the bill "included input from higher education and was shaped to accommodate some of their concerns."
In Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed legislation that would have permitted college students and others to carry concealed guns onto campuses.
Deal rejected the legislation after lawmakers refused to alter some provisions of the bill to address his concerns. The bill would have legalized possession of guns for anyone 21 or older anywhere on campus except in residence halls, fraternities and sororities and at athletic events.
The governor wanted more exemptions: at on-campus child care facilities, faculty or administrative office space and disciplinary meetings, but legislators declined to act on his recommendations.