Dear College Employees,
Full-time employees of Southwest Tennessee Community College, who possess a valid handgun carry permit, will be authorized to carry a handgun on property owned or operated by Southwest Tennessee Community College. Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) policy governs the carrying of handguns on Southwest Tennessee Community College property. Southwest Tennessee Community College employees who decide to carry a handgun on our campuses are required to read the policy and comply with the policy and Tennessee law.
An employee who elects to carry a handgun on Southwest Tennessee Community College property must first register with Police Services. Police Services will verify employment status and permit validity. The name and other identifying information of an employee who elects to carry a handgun is confidential. Police Services will not disclose such information other than as prescribed by Tennessee law.
The following summary is being provided for all employees to become familiar with the policy and law:
- Only full-time Southwest Tennessee Community College employees with valid permits, after successfully registering with Police Services, are authorized under law to carry a handgun on property owned or operated by Southwest Tennessee Community College. Full-time is defined as having a regular work week of 37.5 hours or carrying a full teaching schedule or equivalent.
- Full-time employees enrolled in a class at Southwest Tennessee Community College cannot carry a handgun on Southwest Tennessee Community College property.
- Handguns cannot be carried openly and must be concealed at all times. Handguns 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.
- A Southwest Tennessee Community College employee can carry a handgun only on Southwest Tennessee Community College property. They cannot carry a handgun on the property of other state or private institutions.
- Employees shall have their valid handgun carry permit in their immediate possession at all times when carrying a handgun and shall provide the permit to law enforcement officers upon request.
- Employees are not permitted to carry a handgun at the following times and at the following locations:
- In stadiums, gymnasiums, and auditoriums during school-sponsored events;
- In meetings regarding employee or student disciplinary matters, to include any meeting in which an employee's performance or conduct is being addressed;
- In meetings regarding any tenure issues;
- In offices where the primary services are medical or mental health services;
- In or on K-12 school buildings or grounds;
- On the premises of childcare centers (e.g., Macon Cove Campus, Campus Kids Corner or Union Avenue Campus, Early Childhood Education); and
- At any other location where state or federal law prohibits the carrying of a handgun.
- Carrying a handgun is a personal choice. An authorized employee who elects to carry is not:
- Acting in the course of or scope of their employment when carrying or using a handgun;
- Entitled to workers' compensation benefits for injuries arising from the carrying or use of a firearm; or
- Immune from personal liability with respect to use or carrying of a handgun under Tennessee law.
- In the interest of safety, authorized employees who elect to carry concealed handguns pursuant to TBR policy should use good judgment in sharing or publicizing such information.
- An employee who is found to have possessed or carried a firearm in violation of College policy will be subject to arrest and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
To initiate the notification/registration process, authorized employees must schedule an appointment with Police Services. Southwest Tennessee Community College employees in Shelby County should call 901-333-4242 to schedule an appointment during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). Even though authorized employees cannot carry a handgun on campus until the law takes effect on July 1, 2016, Police Services will initiate the registration process and begin scheduling appointments on Thursday, June 30, 2016, at 8 a.m.
At the time of their appointment, employees will report to Police Services administrative offices, provide proof of identity, present a valid handgun carry permit for Tennessee or a state with reciprocity, and complete the Notification of Employee's Intent to Carry a Concealed Handgun form.
The Notification of Employee's Intent to Carry a Concealed Handgun form can be filled out in advance but must be signed in the presence of a Southwest Tennessee Community College Police Officer. Employees who elect to carry a handgun will be required to sign the Notification of Employee's Intent to Carry a Concealed Handgun form indicating they have read TBR Policy 7:01:00:00, Firearms and Other Weapons, and will comply with the policy and the law. Upon verifying eligibility, Police Services will send a confirmation email to the employee.
The law requires an authorized employee who elects to carry a handgun, to provide written notification to all law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over the property owned or operated by the college. Due to the college's multiple locations, Police Services will notify the following law enforcement agencies of each Southwest Tennessee Community College employee who registers to carry a handgun on Southwest Tennessee Community College property:
- Memphis Police Department
- Shelby County Sheriff's Office
- Millington Police Department
- University of Memphis Police Department
Police Services will announce voluntary training sessions for all employees. Training will include a firearm safety component.
- Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Policy 7:01:00:00, Firearms and Other Weapons
- Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-1309 (2016) "Carrying Weapons on School Property"
- Public Chapter 1061: Legislation Allowing Permitted Handguns on Campus
- Notification of Employee's Intent to Carry a Concealed Handgun form
Dr. Tracy D. Hall
President, Southwest Tennessee Community College