Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Campus Carry in Tennessee: News-Sentinel and UTPD stumble with first baby steps

Beretta USA, now a Tennessee Company
UT: Register Guns on Monday said the News-Sentinel headline above the fold on Friday, June 17. The problem is, that headline was a lie. The story was related to the recent passage of a campus carry bill by the Tennessee Legislature. The bill as passed, allows full time faculty and staff of public colleges in Tennessee, who have a handgun carry permit, to carry a defensive firearm on campus. There are certain areas that are still gun ban zones, even for those staff. There are other restrictions, including the fact that the handgun must be concealed on campus (This is in contrast with the general permitting process in Tennessee, which recognizes open carry as lawful, also). See the UTPD web pages HERE and HERE.

Desiring to get the straight facts, I emailed Lt. Mike Richardson of the University of Tennessee Police Department. I also wanted the form that UT employees must complete in order to comply:

June 17, 2016
Subject: Notification form for faculty/staff handgun carry
Dear Lt. Richardson:

I am working on an article for my blog, about the new law effective July 1. I know that they are required to notify UTPD in writing of their intent to carry.

Is there a specified format?
Is specific information required?
Is there a form they are required to complete?
Are they required to register their handgun with UTPD, or only supply information about themselves?

Thank you for your help?

Lt. Richardson replied with inline answers:

Jun 17 (4 days ago)

Is there a specified format?
There is a registration form that must be completed at UTPD and witnessed by a commissioned officer. 
Is specific information required?
The information is specific to the employee.

Is there a form they are required to complete?
See first question and response.

Are they required to register their handgun with UTPD, or only supply information about themselves?
The full-time faculty/staff must only register themselves and their permit number, not the handgun itself.
You can also visit our department website, which should answer any other questions you may have.

Lt. Mike Richardson

I followed up with this question:

June 17, 2016

Thanks for your response. May I have a copy of the form for publication, please?

After not hearing back from him, I again asked:

June 17, 2016

Lt. Richardson,
I hope you will be able to supply me with the form soon.


Liston Matthews

Today, Tuesday, June 21, having not received a response, I again queried:

Lt. Richardson,
If you can't supply me with the form, who do I need to contact?

He responded today:

Mr. Mathews,

The notification form is available only to University of Tennessee employees who are full-time faculty or staff and not currently enrolled as a student.  If you meet the eligibility to complete the form you may receive a copy by coming in person to the UT Police Department.

Thank you,
Lt. Mike Richardson

I wrote back:

I am not an employee. However, the public  has a right to know. If you won't supply it to me, who at UT has the authority to.

If I can't get it from you, then perhaps you can supply it to
a) my attorney, or
b) a state legislator

Apparently, that got someone's attention, because later today, I received the form:

Attached is the documentation you have requested.
Notification of Employee's Intent to Carry a Concealed Handgun (Courtesy UTPD)
Kudos to State Representative Andy Holt, who got the ball rolling on this partial campus carry. The next step is student campus carry, which UTPD Chief Troy Lane opposes, according to a quote in the News-Sentinel article:
“. . . anyone is capable of making a bad decision, but they just haven’t had enough life experience to take on that level of responsibility."
I suppose Chief Lane is unaware that the students he speaks of are legal adults, and have been carrying a firearm practically everywhere else. Many of these are combat hardened veterans who have already made more life-or-death decisions than most of us will make in a lifetime. I'd call that enough life experience. What do you think?


  1. Thanks for getting and posting the form.
    Very informative.

  2. Thanks for posting this Liston! :)

  3. I'm one of those combat vets you mention - only my combat was 25 years ago in Desert Storm. I'm also a 10+ year licensee. My wife (also licensed) is a grad student/TA (and we're both 52).

    Somehow, when they mention students carrying (or not) they seem to forget my wife (a non-traditional, but still a student) and me (a frequent visitor to campus).

  4. I wonder if the next step by the anti-gunners will be to obtain copies of any completed forms under FOIA and release them to the public. Along with all the personal information included therein. Wouldn't be the first time.

    1. Yes, that is a concern.

      Also, I remember a story about a certain chief of police (not UTPD) contacting a certain head coach on a certain matter. I wonder how secure this information is. Will someone at UTPD or up the chain leak the employees' information? Only time will tell.

  5. I see, too, that MTSU Chief of Police Buddy Peaster is quoted in The Tennessean, "People on both sides of this issue are looking for an absolute guarantee of safety," he said. "I don't think people's safety and security in life is going to be found by carrying or not carrying."

    Does Chief Peaster carry? Is he willing to give up his gun? Maybe, like Andy, he doesn't carry, and maybe he requires his deputies, like Barnie, to carry only one bullet in their shirt pockets. N-a-a-h---

  6. In an ideal world, anywhere anytime carry would be allowed. Much as our enemies try to take our gun rights step by step, we have to expand them in increments. The next step is students with permits, then anyone with a permit.


Please maintain civility and G-rating on comments.