Tennessee law allowing guns on campus moves to committee vote

Staff photo by Doug Strickland / Chattanooga Police Public Information Officer Mark Frazer holds a seized handgun next to a cart of other seized firearms in the lobby of the property evidence room at the Police Services Center last October. Police said in the fall that they had seized an unusually large number of illegally possessed guns in a matter of only a few weeks.

NASHVILLE - A House panel today approved legislation that strips Tennessee public colleges and universities of their ability to bar handgun-carry permit holders from storing weapons in their vehicles.

House Education Administration & Planning members approved the bill, sponsored by Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville, on a voice vote.

The bill, which passed the GOP-run Senate on a 29-0 vote with the support of two top Senate Democratic leaders, now goes to the House Calendar and Rules Committee, where it would need to pass before proceeding to the Senate floor.

Rogers' bill, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, in the upper chamber, would add the University of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents to the "guns in trunks" law initially passed in 2013 and amended in 2014.

The original law prevents governments and businesses from barring permit holders from storing weapons and ammunition in vehicles parked on entities' respective property.