Tags: tennessee | handguns | park | ban | law | bill

Tennessee Handguns in Parks Allowed After Gov. Haslam Signs Bill

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 01:12 PM

Tennessee no longer has handgun restrictions at its parks after Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill Friday that prohibits local governments from enacting firearms bans at parks in its municipalities.

The bill overrides local bans that kept gun owners with permits from carrying their weapons in parks, The Tennessean reported. While Haslam told reporters he had initial reservations, he said he feels comfortable with the latest version of the bill.

"Overall I believe the legislation in its final form is a vast improvement from the bill as initially introduced," Haslam wrote to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell in sharing his support for the bill.

"However, I am concerned that an unintended consequence may be operational challenges for local leaders in managing their parks in a safe, effective, and consistent manner, due to events and situations that could not have been anticipated in drafting this law."

Chris Cox, of the National Rifle Association, called the new Tennessee law a win for "Second Amendment freedoms," and thanked state representatives Mike Harrison and Tilman Goins, as well as State Sen. John Stevens for their support.

"This important measure advances Tennessee's long history of supporting our Second Amendment freedoms," Cox said in the NRA statement. "Law-abiding Tennesseans have a fundamental right to protect themselves, whether in their homes, or in parks. This will remove a patchwork of laws throughout the state that could have turned law-abiding citizens into unintentional criminals."

Kathleen Chandler Wright, a volunteer leader with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action, a gun control advocacy group, charged in its own statement that both Haslam and state legislators have made children less safe with the law.

"Like all parents, my top priority is my children's safety, and today Governor Haslam disappointed all of us by choosing the interests of the gun lobby over the safety of Tennessee children — while also admitting to 'unintended consequences' for our children's safety," Chandler Wright said in her statement.

"Moms across the state drew a line in the sandbox and urged legislators and Governor Haslam to reject this dangerous bill, and now parents will be left wondering whether the person standing next to their child on the swing set is carrying a concealed, loaded weapon," she continued.

The Tennessean reported that the Tennessee House of Representatives appeared to have had enough votes to override a Haslam veto.

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Tennessee no longer has handgun restrictions at its parks after Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill Friday that prohibits local governments from enacting firearms bans at parks in its municipalities.
tennessee, handguns, park, ban, law, bill
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2015-12-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 01:12 PM
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