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Tennessee Lawmakers Should Reexamine Right to Carry Legislation

Texas’ House committee on law enforcement, charged to monitor the impact of the state’s laws banning concealed carry by CHL (Concealed Handgun License) holders at educational institutions, recently released their interim report. After a lengthy study, they recommended that lawmakers strike down the current regulations banning concealed carry by licensed individuals on the grounds of educational institutions. Furthermore, the committee recommended introducing legislation that would limit the ability of university administrators to ban concealed carry through school policies “which would have the effect of circumventing the intent of the aforementioned legislative proposal.”

The committee found crime statistics showed that CHL holders “have amassed an impressive track record of law-abiding and responsible behavior.”  In addition, they felt there was no reason why lifting the ban would “suddenly transform them [license holders] into dangerous and irresponsible individuals.” The committee also struck down claims that removal of the ban would cause a proliferation of firearms on college campuses.  As the minimum age to obtain a permit is 21, only about half of the students at a typical college are even eligible to obtain a CHL.

Their testimony is the latest in a growing list of evidence that banning weapons does more harm than good, and that the so-called “gun-free” zones are nothing more than an invitation for crime. I think it is time for Tennessee legislators to take a second look at our own state laws and ask themselves, “What are we really accomplishing by denying students the ability to defend themselves?”

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