That meeting between the governor and Senate speaker Ron Ramsey and his band of brothers yesterday before the committee voted? That was merely an informational gathering for the governor's benefit, Haslam said, and he never asked senators to amend the bill to keep guns off college campuses. Even though this bill has been debated for more than a year, tying Republicans in knots, pissing off the NRA and costing one House member her seat, Haslam said he isn't sure yet what it does.
"We asked to sit down to understand the bill better because we’d just seen it at the end of last week," Haslam told reporters today. "I have always been up front saying I have certain concerns about educational institutions. My job is to distinguish between the perspective on that and then the reality. I’m learning a lot about what the current law is and then what this would do to change it."
Would he veto the bill if it doesn't exclude college campuses?
"I don't know that. It's too early to say. I don't know exactly what the bill will look like. I'm still learning in terms of what the reality is now."
Update: Ramsey says he explained the way things are to the governor during their little meeting.
He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that "we feel strongly that law-abiding citizens who have gone through the trouble of getting gun-carry permits and have an impeccable record here in this state should have a right to keep their gun locked in their vehicle."
Ramsey told the AP he sought to persuade the governor to drop his concerns about the bill.
"I explained to him this has nothing to do with schools or colleges," Ramsey said. "This has to do with your car."