Last fall, the East Tennessean reported 35 faculty and staff members at ETSU had registered with the university to carry a handgun on campus. As of January 2017, Joe Smith with University Relations reports that that number has grown to 47.

The bill allowing full-time employees at public universities to conceal carry a firearm on campus became law on July 1, 2016, but not without limitations set by the state and university’s Ad Hoc Guns on Campus Committee.

In order to carry a firearm on campus, the individual must be employed with the university full-time, already have a concealed carry permit and fill out the appropriate paperwork with Public Safety. The individual may not be enrolled in any courses, and the weapon must remain concealed at all times.

According to the ETSU Department of Public Safety’s website, there are several areas on ETSU’s main campus that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited such as the Center for Physical Activity, University School, Little Bucs, any mental or physical healthcare facility or office, the Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Campus and any stadium, auditorium or gymnasium where a school sponsored event is taking place.

These restrictions also include meetings where faculty, staff or students gather to discuss disciplinary issues or tenure.

Those who wish to conceal carry on campus are granted the right to privacy. The record of who is registered to carry on campus is kept confidential by the Department of Public Safety. No one outside of Public Safety may be granted access to the list.

While full-time faculty and staff are permitted to conceal carry, part-time employees, students and visitors are currently prohibited from possessing any type of firearm on campus, even if they have a permit. Therefore, Public Safety still urges anyone who sees or suspects someone to be in possession of a firearm to contact Public Safety.

Those who wish to conceal carry a firearm on campus may do so by filling out an intent to carry form located on the Office of Public Safety website and return the form in person to the Public Safety office, which is located on the second floor of the Welcome Center on the side of the parking garage facing the Center for Physical Activity.

For more information, a full list of rights and restrictions and a map of where guns are prohibited, visit