I am a studio professor and department chair at a public university in Georgia where our governor recently signed a Campus Carry Bill that went into effect on July 1. Our university system has written
implementation guidelines for us to follow that equate studios and laboratories with any regular classroom (lecture) space.
Our department has a fully equipped BFA and BA in art studios to include glassblowing (we are one of the oldest continuously running glass programs in the US), ceramics, sculpture (welding, plasma
cutter, and small foundry for aluminum and bronze), as well as painting, photo, and printmaking. We certainly do our best to provide the safest studio environments and instruction for our students.
I have been attempting to argue that students carrying concealed firearms and ammunition on their bodies (holsters and pockets) creates a potential safety hazard in studios.
I am hoping that perhaps you have resources or information that would be useful in my argument that on one hand, I am responsible for my students' (and faculty)safety and can/must require safety apparel,
have rules for studio equipment and materials safety, limit access to cell phones (especially in figure drawing where I protect the nude model from illicit photography), earbuds etc that impair hearing in emergencies, and carefully instruct students about
power tools, furnaces, etc while on the other hand, l am being told that a lethal weapon can be brought into the studios and we are not permitted to ask or say anything referring to firearms in the studio.
I did get clarification that students with concealed carry permits can have guns in purses and backpacks, but if they are going to be required in a studio course to be a distance from the purse/backpack,
they must have their guns properly holstered on their person before coming into the school building/studio.
If you have any resources, or contacts for studio faculty in other concealed-carry States who have been able to restrict firearms in dangerous studios or laboratories, I would be really appreciative.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
Department of Visual Arts
Georgia Southwestern State University