Effective July 1, 2016, new legislation will allow full-time employees of the University of Memphis to carry handguns on our campuses if the employee has a valid Tennessee handgun carry permit. I opposed this legislation as I do not believe the presence of more weapons will make our campus safer. The University of Memphis campuses have consistently been among the safest in the state, which is critical to student success. We believe our exemplary safety record is due in part to guns being prohibited with the exception of those carried by highly-trained police officers.
Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Interim Chancellor David Gregory issued a message yesterday containing the following statement:
"TBR strongly and consistently opposed the legislation to allow guns on our campuses . . . Our police chiefs and public safety officers will face greater challenges when responding to emergency situations with the complexity this law adds to their responsibilities. That said, it is now incumbent upon us and our institutions to ensure the guidelines are clearly articulated and do all we can to help our campuses remain safe for all."
The UofM is studying the legislation and will provide guidance to comply with the new laws. More information will follow upon completion of our campus discussions.
M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor