Registration began Tuesday for University of Memphis (U of M) employees to carry concealed handguns on campus and the university president offered new, detailed guidance to employees.
State lawmakers passed a law earlier this year that will allow full-time employees of the state’s public universities to carry concealed handgun on campus. The law takes effect Friday.
But employees wishing to carry guns on the U of M campus must first register with campus police and the process got underway Tuesday, according to university president David Rudd in a note to school employees.
Employees with valid handgun carry permits have to meet with campus police, fill out a registration form that states they’ve read the U of M policy. If campus police verify the employee’s employment status and the validity of their permit, they can begin to carry their handgun on the East Memphis campus.
But that privilege comes with a host of caveats. Employees must keep their handgun permits on them at all times. Full-time employees enrolled in a class at the U of M cannot carry a handgun on campus.
Handguns must be concealed at all times, they “cannot be visible to ordinary observation by a reasonable person, and must be kept in close proximity to the employee and under the employee’s exclusive and continuous control,” according to Tuesday’s statement from Rudd.
There are also many places on campus where qualified employees cannot carry a handgun. Here’s the list:
• stadiums, gymnasiums, and auditoriums during school-sponsored events
• meetings regarding employee or student disciplinary matters, to include any meeting in which an employee’s performance or conduct is being addressed
• meetings regarding any tenure issues
• offices where the primary services are medical or mental health services (e.g., Hudson Health Center, Counseling Center, Psychological Services Center)
• K-12 school buildings or grounds (e.g., Campus and Lipman schools)
• childcare centers (e.g., Child Development Center)
• any other location where state or federal law prohibits the carrying of a handgun
Another section of Tuesday’s note to employees notes that “carrying a handgun is a personal choice” and that an authorized employee who elects to carry is not acting in the course or scope of their employment at U of M when carrying or using a gun.
They are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries arising from carrying or using the firearm. They are not immune to personal liability and any employee who violates university policy can be arrested and fired.
U of M campus police will hold voluntary training sessions for all employees, which will include firearm safety.
Check this week's print edition of the Memphis Flyer
for more on the guns-on-campus issue.