Haslam Cool to Bill for Guns in Parks

By Locker, Richard | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), January 24, 2014 | Go to article overview

Haslam Cool to Bill for Guns in Parks


Locker, Richard, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


NASHVILLE Gov. Bill Haslam said Thursday he has "major concerns" about legislation that would abolish the authority of towns, cities and counties to ban guns from local parks, greenways and other recreational areas under their jurisdictions.

In 2009, the Tennessee legislature enabled handgun-carry permit holders to go armed in state and local parks, but it also allowed local governing boards city councils, county commissions, boards of mayor and aldermen to "opt out" of the state law and ban guns from city- and county-owned parks.

Memphis, Germantown, Shelby County and Nashville were among dozens of places across the state that maintained gun bans in their parks. But two East Tennessee Republicans filed a bill last week to eliminate the opt-out provision. It also nullifies previously adopted opt-outs, which would allow permit-holders to go armed in any Memphis, Germantown or Shelby County park or greenway.

When Haslam was mayor of Knoxville before his 2010 election as governor, the Knoxville City Council passed ordinances allowing permit-holders to go armed in some of its city parks but not others. …

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