‘Campus Carry’ Bill Sparks Heated Debate as Governors in Tennessee and Georgia Take Different Approaches to Gun Control and Access on College Campuses

The debate over gun control and access on college campuses was at an all-time high as a “Campus Carry” bill was passed into law in Tennessee on May 2 but rejected in Georgia the very next day.  In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam let the controversial bill become law, but his counterpart in Georgia took the opposite approach. The bills were proposed in several states following the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, in which a 28-year-old student fatally shot an assistant professor and killed eight classmates on October 2015.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the state’s proposed bill, HB 859, rejecting the argument that guns would make colleges safer. The measure would have allowed anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun on college campuses – except for dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses and athletic events, according to a CNN report.  The Republican governor asked the General Assembly to exempt on-campus day care centers, university disciplinary hearings and faculty and administrative offices, but the assembly  failed to address his requests.

“If the intent of HB 859 is to increase safety of students on college campuses, it is highly questionable that such would be the result,” Deal said in a statement. “From the early days of our nation utsa-students-react-to-open-campus-carry-bills-0_kukow005_99808_ver1.0_1280_720and state, colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed. To depart from such time honored protections should require overwhelming justification. I do not find that such justification exists.”

The Tennessee Law

In Tennessee, the SB 2376 Campus Carry bill allows full-time employees to bring concealed handguns on campus, but forbids students from carrying guns.   The employees must notify law enforcement beforehand and possess a concealed carry permit, according to the Washington Post. Handguns are also banned in stadiums, gymnasiums, hospitals and meetings discussing disciplinary or tenure issues.

“I have long stated a preference for systems and institutions to be able to make their own decisions regarding security issues on campus, and I again expressed this concern throughout the legislative process this year,” Gov. Haslam wrote in a letter to the House and Senate Speaker. “Although SB 2376 does not go as far as I would like in retaining campus control, the final version of the bill included input from higher education and was shaped to accommodate some of their concerns.”

Campus Safety Magazine reported that the bill was opposed by many members of the higher education community Tennessee, with some employees threatening to leave their jobs if it passed. At the University of Tennessee, faculty President Bruce MacLennan conducted a poll and found that 87 percent of faculty strongly disagreed that “allowing guns on campus is in the best interest of the campus community.”

Tennessee joins eight other states that now have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The other states are: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

The Debate Over Campus Carry Laws

Those in support of Campus Carry laws say citizens have a right to defend themselves against deadly force and potentially save lives – especially during a mass shooting when every second counts – coupled by the inability of police to be immediately at the scene of the crime.

remoteOpponents believe that allowing concealed weapons on campus could create a false sense of security, may result in unintended shootings/killings, and potentially opens the college to significant liability. They also argue that concealed-carry permits offer no assurance that the holder is conscientious and responsible about firearms safety and training.

Such is the opinion of self-proclaimed “gun guy,” Lt. John Weinstein, an active shooter response trainer who is responsible for teaching tactics to patrol officers. In the Campus Safety article, “Should we allow CCP Holders to Carry Guns on Campus? 11 Reservation of a ‘Gun Guy,” Lt. Weinstein addresses many concerns regarding carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) on campus.

Although he was inclined to support Campus Carry laws, Lt. Weinstein believed that armed citizens, including those with military training, may not be well prepared to use a firearm in a life and death situation.

In the article, he wrote:  “I came to the conclusion that the possession of a CCP and even firearms training received by many in the military do not ensure the ability to appropriately use firearms to protect life and limb in a college setting.

“This is not to say there aren’t many serious and capable CCP holders who have adequate training. The point is there is no assessment protocol, short of having colleges and universities assess individual CCP citizens,” he said.

Strong supporters of the Campus Carry Laws include the national grassroots organization, Students for Concealed Carry – a special-interest group that was formed the day after the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007 that claimed the lives of 32 people. The group comprises some 40,000 members including U.S college students, faculty, staff and others who support allowing citizens with concealed carry permits to carry concealed handguns on college campuses for self defense.

Mission Manager Showcases Incident Management Software to Emergency Managers at PIEPC in Washington State; Upcoming Venues Include SWAT Conferences in New York, Louisiana and Las Vegas

Mission Manager today unveils its powerful incident management tool to emergency managers in the Pacific Northwest during the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference (PIEPC), which runs through Thursday in Tacoma, Washington.  The conference is part of Mission Manager’s coast-to-coast road show, which includes tactical SWAT venues in New York, Louisiana and Las Vegas over the next few weeks. Here’s a rundown of the upcoming venues:

Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference

At Booth #19, Mission Manager’s staff will demonstrate how the cloud-based software can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency management Capture34agencies during large-scale natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis. The venue attracts approximately 700 people representing business, schools, government, the nonprofit sector, emergency management professionals and volunteer organizations.

 In addition to its technology showcase, PIEPC features a wide array of presentations that include lessons learned from recent worldwide events such as earthquakes, workplace violence, current hazards research, contingency planning, school preparedness, technology, media interactions and public health issues.

New York Tactical Officers Association

The following week, Mission Manager representatives will head to the Northeast for the Tactical Conference & Expo 2016,  which runs April 26-27 in Verona,ny NY. This large-scale SWAT training conference and vendor show is sponsored by the New York Tactical Officers Association (NYTOA), a non-profit corporation established to promote training, professionalism and the exchange of information between members of law enforcement, tactical units and crisis negotiation teams within, and surrounding, New York state.

Mission Manager will be among 150 industry vendors at NYTOA showcasing their latest technologies and products. At booth #508, Mission Manager reps will demonstrate how the software tool can streamline an agency’s daily operations, speed response times, and help ensure a Unified Command for deployments ranging from active shooters and high-risk warrant service to large-scale public events and training drills.LTPOA-emblem-185x185

Louisiana Tactical Police Officers Association Training Conference 

Next on the tour is the Louisiana Tactical Police Officers Association Training Conference, held May 2-6, in Gonzalez, LA. The venue, hosted by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, will include the vendor show on May 2, along with an incident debrief of the Lafayette Grand 16 theater shooting. The next few days will feature a SWAT competition and intensive training tracks.

TacOps West

CaptureMission Manager will then head back to the West Coast for the TacOps West show, set for May 18-19 in Las Vegas, NV. TacOps West is a tactical training conference and exposition that balances elite training, networking functions and trade show experience into a three-day event. Mission Manager, which will be featuring interactive demos at booth #111, will be among 100 industry vendors showcasing their latest technologies and products.

The conference also includes approximately 30 training tracks taught by some of the most sought after instructors in the nation. Some of the top teams presenting are Las Vegas Metro SWAT, Los Angeles County SEB, LAPD SWAT and NYPD ESU.

Sponsoring associations include the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), Arizona Tactical Officers Association (ATOA), Utah Tactical Officers Association (UTOA) and the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO).

Cloud-based Mission Manager provides a one-stop integrated solution for team and asset management, real-time communications, situational awareness with robust maps, and automated reporting capabilities.

Mission Manager can help agencies become more proactive vs. reactive – and ultimately improve response times – because it is based on the core principles of “Preparation. Readiness. Execution.”larry

As a daily team management tool, Mission Manager provides the current status and qualifications of members, including training, certifications and expirations. Administrators can also easily track and manage their team’s equipment and maintenance schedules.

Because this data is readily available, emergency managers / incident commanders can quickly determine who is qualified and available to respond when an emergency strikes.

When used as an online command center, Mission Manager helps ensure 360-degree situational awareness. The software provides a common operational picture – on multiple devices – that can be shared among agencies in multiple jurisdictions that are responding to the mission.

Mission Manager features robust mapping capabilities with more than 90 mapping overlays, including topography, natural hazards, locations of hospitals and police departments, as well as social media feeds at points of interest.

Highly secure and customizable, Mission Manager’s robust database provides a second-by-second record of every event. This data can be easily exported for ICS NIMS compliant reports.


2015 CATO Training Venue Attracts 1,000+ Tactical Officers; Mission Manager’s SWAT Incident Command Software Capabilities Demonstrated in Exhibit Hall

More than 1,000 SWAT personnel had the opportunity to preview the latest trends, services and technologies for tactical law officers – including Mission Manager’s incident command software capabilities – at the 2015 California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) Conference held last week in Anaheim, CA.

The company’s booth staff was pleased to report that its incident management software was a big hit among the attendees, who were impressed by the fact that Mission Manager was an all-encompassing tool for personnel & asset management, callouts, situational awareness and reporting.

Currently, most SWAT teams are using disparate tools to perform various functions, including manual spreadsheets to manage their members,  standard dispatch systems to callout their teams, and pen-and-paper to produce reports.


Demonstration on how Mission Manager can provide situational awareness for SWAT teams, such as the recent riots in Baltimore (Photo by Daniel DiPinto / DiPinto Design)

The staff demonstrated Mission Manager’s capabilities first-hand during its Scavenger Hunt, which drew nearly three dozen participants who vied for valuable prizes including  a one-year subscription to Mission Manager. During the two-day contest, the staff deployed participants to various locations on the show floor, sending clues leading to the location of the prizes.

A big thanks goes out to the CATO organizers and participating vendors, including 5.11, ProforceAdamson Police Products, Frog Lube, American Spartan Apparel, Voodoo Tactical and Safariland. The companies handed out valuable prizes including SWAT apparel, a gun cleaning kit, weapon bi-pod and a tactical backpack.

The contest gave participants an opportunity to visit various vendors while testing Mission Manager’s user-friendly, intuitive features with their own cell phones.

How it Works

With Mission Manager, teams can callout their teams three ways – via SMS text, email and voice. Because all personnel data is kept current by the members’ themselves, including their training and certifications, the incident commander can determine within minutes who is certified and available to participate in the mission.

Using pre-set mission tools that can be easily customized, team leaders can access an instant checklist of all activities needed to support the mission – whether it be an active shooter response, dangerous suspect warrant or large-scale public event.

With real-time tracking capabilities, Mission Manager gives incident commanders a birds-eye view of the mission as it occurs.  In the field, commanders can track all phases of the event in real time on their laptops or mobile devices.

Mission Manager can provide SWAT commanders with situational awareness in the field with robust mapping tools. They can triangulate the location of the mission, the command post and surrounding schools, hospitals, fire stations and police stations as well as weather conditions, terrains and boundaries.

Every activity is captured in the system, including team locations, radio logs and suspect information. After the mission, the data can be quickly exported as NIMS ICS-compliant reports or debriefs – saving agencies significant time and money.

About Mission Manager

Since 2011, Mission Manager has supported approximately 6,000 missions, ranging from tactical operations and large-scale pubic events to single-person rescues and full-scale natural disasters. It has been adopted by agencies in all 50 U.S. states and 20 countries, and is available in 80 languages. Users include law enforcement agencies, search-and-rescue organizations, fire departments and emergency operation centers. Mission Manager is based on three core principles: Preparation, Readiness and Execution. To request a demo, please email or call 619-457-6119.

About CATO

The California Association of Tactical Officers is a professional organization dedicated to improving tactics and safety through education, peer contacts, and the sharing of tactical information. Membership entitles individuals and tactical teams to participate in CATO training, including the annual conference, at a price that demonstrates quality and value. The organization welcomes current and former members of law enforcement and the military. JOIN CATO TODAY and check out the CATO News Magazine.


CATO Mission Manager staff

Mission Manager’s booth staff display their Scavenger Hunt mascot during the CATO show. Nearly 3 dozen SWAT officers participated in the contest and won valuable prizes from participating vendors.





Mission Manager to Showcase its Incident Command Software at the CATO Training Conference, Sept. 21-22, that Highlights Emerging Trends, Tactics and Technologies for Tactical SWAT Teams

Mission Manager will showcase its incident command software to the tactical law enforcement community at the 2015 CATO Conference, Sept. 21-22, at the Anaheim Marriott –  and  also spearhead a Scavenger Hunt contest with prizes to include a  free 1-year subscription to its robust cloud-based software. Attendees who participate in the contest will also have the opportunity to win a variety of prices from participating vendors during the show.CATO flyer

During the Scavenger Hunt, players will learn first-hand how cloud-based Mission Manager helps incident commanders easily manage their personnel and assets, communicate in real time, and track and log evidence trails – as players find clues during the game.  If you plan to attend CATO, please stop by our booth #223 and participate. Here’s how it works:

  • Stop by our booth,  and we’ll log you into Mission Manager’s pre-set missions, send you email & text alerts with “clues” every other hour.
  • Simply take a picture of the clue with your cell phone, email it back to our staff and return to our booth to claim your prize from participating vendors.
  • On Day #2 we will hold a raffle drawing of all players and announce the winner of our free 1-year subscription to Mission Manager (good for up to 10 users: Valued at $750)

As noted in our sponsored article in POLICE Magazine, Mission Manager lays the foundation for a strong infrastructure needed to save lives because it is based on team preparation and readiness. Mission Manager uniquely provides an operational environment for daily team management and serves as an online command center.

Since 2011, Mission Manager has supported approximately 6,000 missions, including natural disasters, tactical operations, large-scale pubic events, campus security, search-and-rescue missions, and training. Users include law enforcement, fire departments,  search-and-rescue groups, emergency operation centers, security providers and the Civil Air Patrol.

The California Association of Tactical Officers was founded in 1997 as a professional organization dedicated to improving tactics, safety and professionalism of special weapons and tactics officers through education, training, peer contacts and the sharing of information and ideas. CATO has since become a premier professional organization and is dedicated to the continued improvement of officer safety through training, education and advocacy.

CATO’s annual training conference hosts approximately 1,000 SWAT officers, supervisors and commanders from teams throughout the Western United States. The CATO conference features educational seminars and presentations on emerging trends, tactics, legal issues, leadership and valuable ‘lessons learned’. The two day vendor trade show highlights the latest safety gear, weapons, munitions, clothing and technology provided by equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers.