Governor vetoes guns-in-bars bill

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 5:16pm

Gov. Phil Bredesen vetoed the new version of the guns-in-bars bill Tuesday, telling legislative leaders that "guns and alcohol don't mix."

Bredesen also vetoed last year's bill at a news conference attended by law officers and prosecutors against guns in bars, but he easily was overridden by the legislature.

This year's bill aimed to overcome a court test. Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman tossed out last year's law as too vague to be enforced. It allowed the state's 270,000 handgun carry permit holders to take their firearms only into establishments that earn more than half their sales revenue from food, not alcohol. But since no patron could figure out which establishments were which, permit holders were apt to run afoul of the law accidentally.

This year's version allows guns into restaurants as well as bars, no matter how much of their sales comes from food. Bredesen called that "even more expansive and dangerous."

"I am a strong supporter of the individual right to bear and keep arms, and I hold this right sacred as both an American and a Tennessean," the governor wrote in his veto message. "I am a gun owner, and I exercise my rights as a hunter and in various other shooting activities as well. I value the constitutional right that allows me to protect my home and family. In Tennessee, this fundamental right has long been exercised with common-sense, reasonable rules. These rules don't diminish our collective freedom, but instead ensure that this fundamental right is exercised in a common-sense manner that ensures the survival of the right itself.

"Until last year, Tennessee had long prohibited the possession of firearms in bars and restaurants that served alcohol. The legislation that passed last year removed this protection in a way that I, along with many law enforcement officers and innumerable private citizens, believed to be reckless and lacking in basic safeguards to public safety. A successful court challenge to last year's actions provided the General Assembly with a second opportunity to reconsider and adopt a more responsible approach to this issue. Instead, the General Assembly has essentially re-passed last year's legislation in an even more expansive and dangerous form. For this reason, I cannot sign this measure into law." 

The legislation passed with at least two-thirds majorities in the House (66-31) and Senate (23-9), meaning both chambers have well beyond the simple majorities needed for a veto override.

“I am disappointed that the governor fell victim to emotional appeals that obscured the facts involved in this issue," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson. “Government should not make laws that prevent citizens from protecting their own lives or the lives of their families. The law should not require good citizens to become crime victims. I’m confident we have the votes to override this

32 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/18/10 at 3:17


By: EquinsuOcha on 5/18/10 at 3:47

Everybody knew this was coming........time to override this veto.......

By: idgaf on 5/18/10 at 4:11

Ramsey needs to bring this to an overide vote quick to identify the democraps that want to violate our rights and the Constitution.

By: Cookie47 on 5/18/10 at 4:17

It'll be over-ridden again and become law.... AGAIN with a lot of money being spent unnecessarily thanks to people like Randy Rayburn. The only plus to this having to be done is Rayburn spent a lot of his own money.

Now, Ramsey, get this veto over-ridden and lets move on.


By: bccoolj on 5/18/10 at 9:12

Yes, I'm sure the Governor's veto will get overridden. However, it's still not a good law to have. One one side, people see this as an infringement on their 2nd Amendment rights if not made a law, while the other side sees this as a danger to all customers in restaurants and bars, drinking or not drinking. The motive for this law is pretty evident--it's part of a bigger agenda to get as much publicity for the 2nd Amendment as possible so that no Congressman will dare introduce legislation to hamper gun rights.

I read the Governor's reason for his veto, and I couldn't agree more. This is a common sense issue--guns and alcohol don't mix. I too learned that very thing in Hunter Safety Class, my Handgun Permit class, and from my dad, a retired policeman. If you feel you need to carry a handgun into an establishment, then perhaps you should err on the side of caution and not go there!

But if you do, just remember, you can't drink while packing the handgun. And how many drinkers are going to go to an establishment and just sit there while their friends partake? And then, let's say they successfully withstand the urge to drink, and someone decides to mess with them, and gives them reason to use their weapon. Now, not only are the two individuals in harm's way, but EVERYONE ELSE in the place too! Where's the sense in that? This isn't Deadwood, Tombstone, or any other Old West Town. This is Nashville, Knoxville, Dickson, Shelbyville, and many other small towns in between that deserve better.

This law is just no good. Period.

By: idgaf on 5/18/10 at 9:45

The pupose is not to go into bars but being able to go into a resturant that serves alcohol.

We wouldn't have this problem if the morons distinguished between bars and resturants. Face it we have idiot politicians.

By: BEOWULF on 5/19/10 at 7:16

BEOWULF: AGAIN; type "restaurant shooting deaths" into a brower and read all the incidents. If permit to carry patrons had been present, imagine how many lives (including children) could have been saved! One crazed shooter shot patrons & children at point blank range...Read it, Gov! "Democrap" is right, idgaf.

By: localboy on 5/19/10 at 7:26

way to post, xinxiong! so on point.

By: dargent7 on 5/19/10 at 8:56

Mental defectives, front and center: ok, want to "carry" in a bar or restaurant? You obloviating buffons say, "Why, we cannot drink one drop of alcohol".
Did you drink a "couple of beers" earlier in the day while mowing the lawn? Maybe had two brewskis while painting the fence. Drank the day before?
In any event, your "systems" are not "clean".
Maybe you're on medication.
Just like you cannot drink and drive, gun carriers cannot drink in a bar. But, how many do, just that, right now?
All this protrayal of these gun psychos who claim to be experts in marksmanship equivalent to a Navy SEAL and psychologically superior in stressfull situations are a sick joke.
A note to dummies: Nashville is building a $600. million dollar New Convention Center to bring business INTO the city...not scare people who have brains AWAY.

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/10 at 9:29

Some here don't have the maturity to do anything more than call names so why are they here? They don't know the facts so they fall back on the only thing they know how to do - childishly call names of the people that have HCPs.

All they know is they don't like and/or are afraid of guns. They know nothing of what it takes to get a HCP. Given the level of maturity some have demonstrated here, I sincerely hope the state never grants them the responsibility of having one.

These people should consider growing up then come back to the conversation acting more like adults.


By: bccoolj on 5/19/10 at 12:26

I agree with Cookie47, in that conversations in this forum need to be handled by mature adults, regardless of which side of the conversation you're on.

Now, as far as BEOWULF and Idgaf's comments go, please, get a reality check! Just because I have a handgun permit class and know my way around handguns, rifles, shotguns (which I do, by the way), that doesn't make me an expert on shooting, or more to the point, diffusing a potentially hostile situation like a fully-trained police officer can. That's why our tax dollars are spent on law enforcement!

If you care to call up that shooting at Jonathon's on Nolensville Road a few years ago as a prime example of thwarting a would-be criminal, think again. Had that woman (now a widow) had her handgun to defend her husband, then we may have read in the news that a husband and wife were shot to death at Jonathon's, along with several other patrons wounded and paralyzed. Metro PD is the proper people to let handle this.

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/10 at 2:12

And I agree with bccoolj. My weapon is NOT for defusing a situation. I avoid bad places and situations so to never be a part of anything that may happen. My weapon is for defensive purposes only. I can and will use it to cover the RETREAT of my family and myself from a situation that may develop. The cops can then sort out all the BS.

Also, while I'm not a bad shot (10 rounds in an 8 inch circle at 30 feet in 15 seconds), the last thing I want to do is draw my weapon except at the shooting range or to clean it. I'm not an expert on guns nor do I claim to be. I'm simply a man that wants to protect my family and myself without having to wait for a cop to show up. I practice regularly to make sure I can do just that.


By: dargent7 on 5/19/10 at 2:43

Cookie47 & bccoolj: Here we go again. You fools cite your personal best, target practice, in a controlled environment, with lighting, no one's drunk, no noise, no loud music, and you, yourself, are not impaired even .010%. Yeah, right.
Bars have 10 watt bulbs for lighting.
Gang-bangers don't rob bars loaded with patrons, they want a 'smash and grab" w/o any witnesses. ...they hit gas stations and pizza joints, or don't you read the papers?
And cookie47: you couldn't 'difuse" a sparkler on the 4th of July...stay home and wax and clean your guns doing everyone a favor.

By: dangerlover on 5/19/10 at 2:51

Wait, wait, wait. Cookie47 is a man?

By: Cookie47 on 5/19/10 at 3:16


You are in serious need of some maturity and growing up. You're hardly worth my time but here goes.

First, for the love of God, grow up and stop slinging names and insults. It's beneath you and the rest of us. You seem half way intelligent but the middle school crap makes you appear more than a little stupid.

As for controlled environment, you have no control of what's thrown at you in a "Kill House" training session. You should try it some time.

I don't drink whether I'm armed or not. I also don't put myself in situations where there might be trouble. If you see a person drinking while armed, HCP holder or not, I ENCOURAGE you to please call the police. I'm sure other HCP holders would say the same thing.

Also, I don't want you anywhere near my guns if you think there's wax involved in cleaning them or preventing rust. Obviously you don't know anything about guns. You're just sacred and can only throw insults at what you don't understand rather than try to learn anything.

Lastly, about your sparkler joke - that was cute. I like that but don't mentally strain yourself.

I look forward to a more mature response from you now and in the future.


By: Cookie47 on 5/19/10 at 3:20

DangerLover???? Oh, Good Lord!!!

Yes, "dangerlover," I'm a man.

You should read the part I wrote to dargent7 about growing up as well.


By: dangerlover on 5/19/10 at 8:36

Sorry, cookielover; I mean cookie47. I guess I made an unconcious assumption that someone who signs their name with "cookie" is either a 70 year old waitress, an uneducated middleaged douchebag with a tiny penis who feels the need to make up for it with a gun, or a 40 year old morbidly obese woman with diabetes. I have a feeling I made a B on this test.

By: dangerlover on 5/19/10 at 8:45

I love danger so much!

By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 12:35


As I'm sure happens to you more often than not, you've failed this test with a grade of F – wrong on all of the above. This is probably normal for you and I have little hope that you will at least try to educate yourself on this subject before posting again.

Perhaps one day you'll grow up and be able to debate with a much higher level of maturity rather than sling childish insults and names because you don't know what you're talking about.


By: dangerlover on 5/20/10 at 8:19

I don't recall slinging any childish insults or names your way, Cookie. I legitimately believe you to have a very small penis. There is really no other reason for a grown person possessing a brain chemistry within 2 standard deviations of normal to think that allowing guns into bars is good for any reason. I have a 12 guage under my bed, so I'm not anti-gun, but come on. It's pathetic and embarassing that we are even having this discussion as a state.

By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 9:52


It's more than a little weird and perverted that you would have such a preoccupation with the size of anyone's penis other than your own, assuming your male. But that's the childish part of your postings I've been pointing out all along. So now, DANGERLOVER, you have moved over into childish sexual perversion. I was sincerely hoping you would be a much better debate adversary than this. To that end, lets try to bring you back to the subject of the article rather than with your preoccupation of penis sizes.

The subject is Bredesn's Veto and HCP holders being able to carry anywhere alcohol is sold unless there's a sign posted. The reality is I have an HCP and I carry a pistol. I honestly don't give a damn if you or people like you like it or not. I WILL continue to legally carry because I have my reason's for doing so, none of which I have to explain to you or anyone else.

At least for the time being, this is still a free country. I'll fight for my right to legally carry a pistol. And, yes, you do have the right to be preoccupied with penis sizes but, please, do it somewhere else. It's gotten more than a little boring and totally off subject.


By: dangerlover on 5/20/10 at 12:02

Look man, all I'm saying is that you carry a gun because you have a tiny penis and you are overcompensating. I don't really care about your problems; I just don't want deluded morons who think they are awesome because they have a 'HCP' to carry guns in bars. It's stupid. It's redneck. It's pathetic. And Bredesen did the right thing. So for the time being, jackass, it is still illegal to have a gun in a bar, and if I see you or any other moron small dicked redneck exercising their 'HCP' in my watering hole, you'll be held to account.

By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 12:18

It's obvious by your middle-school use of the English language that you are immature, stupid, and unintelligent. Couple that with your preoccupation with size of other peoples dicks just makes you a damn childish pervert. No, that is not an insult. In your case, it's correct labeling.


By: dangerlover on 5/20/10 at 12:25

You do realize that the rest of the country is laughing at us, right? Also, you might want to look into correct spelling techniques and how to use apostrophes before critiquing anyone's use of the English language.

By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 12:27


If the HCP holder is not drinking alcohol and there's no sign on the door, there's not a damn thing you can say about that HCP holder being in your favorite watering hole.

Besides, given your preoccupation with penis sizes, you need not worry about me being in your favorite watering hole. I've never been to a gay bar.


By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 12:31

DangerLover wrote: "You do realize that the rest of the country is laughing at us, right? Also, you might want to look into correct spelling techniques and how to use apostrophes before critiquing anyone's use of the English language."


Why would I care what the rest of the country thinks about Tennessee? And don't throw that tourism argument at me either. It doesn't hold water.


By: dangerlover on 5/20/10 at 12:41

Not until our pathetic legislators override the veto, genius. Your accusation of me being gay is hurtful. That's a pretty bigoted and homophobic mindset, which is not surprising given your fondness of pistols and apparent lack of education. How do you know I'm even a man? For the record, I don't really care about the size of your "manhood," as it were. I'm simply interpreting your clear need for compensation as a method of overcoming your genetic inferiority. You'll never admit it, but I'm probably right, and you know it.

By: dangerlover on 5/20/10 at 12:48

The tourism argument actually does hold some water, though not as much as some people like to think. The real danger in this bill will be realized when the number of shootings in bar parking lots skyrockets. I mean, at some point the grandstanding in support of the second amendment becomes ridiculous. There are common sense limits to where people should be able to have guns, and bars are not within those limits. Neither are schools, hospitals, courtrooms, and in my opinion, offices. Are we trying to pass a bill legalizing guns in those places, where innumerable more violent crimes are likely to take place? I'm sure there's more than one dumbass Tennessee State Senator who would take up that cause.

By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 1:16

As for my accusation of you being gay being hurtful, with all the crap you've been shoveling, get over it. I have no problem with gays. I have a cousin that is and I respect and support his willingness to be who he is, the world be damned, even with all the danger he and his partner may face because of small-minded people.

By carrying a pistol, the only thing I'm compensating for is a very slow response time of the police. I'm simply doing all I can to protect my family and myself. I have my reasons for doing so. None of which I have to explain to anyone including you.

You say I have an "apparent lack of education" but you're the one equating everything to the size of a penis. By doing this, you make yourself sound childish and immature. You should be passionate about your beliefs but try adding in a large dose of maturity and facts as well. And drop the name calling and insults.

You say, "How do you know I'm even a man?" If you're a woman or even a man, try thinking about the women who have gotten their HCP after leaving an abusive relationship. Should she hide at home because some moron can't get it through his head it's over or should she be able to go out and resume her life? If this moron won't leave her alone, shouldn't she have the right to protect herself?

Think about it then get back to me.


By: dangerlover on 5/20/10 at 1:26

What are you even talking about? What do abusive relationships have to do with it being legal to carry guns in bars?

Drop the name calling? You called me gay.


By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 1:35


You would probably be surprised to know I agree with you about not taking guns into a "bar" that serves only alcohol. However, I see no problem with a HCP holder being allowed to carry into a restaurant that just happens to serve alcohol. We're not allowed to drink while carrying. If you see someone drinking alcohol and armed I ENCOURAGE you to call the police. I would. Schools and courts are off limits by law. Hospitals and offices are left up to management.

As for parking lot shootings skyrocketing, they didn't last year when we had the first law in place that was overturned. I don't believe they will once this bill is made law.


By: Cookie47 on 5/20/10 at 1:52

dangerlover wrote:

"What are you even talking about? What do abusive relationships have to do with it being legal to carry guns in bars?

"Drop the name calling? You called me gay.


You don't want anyone being able to carry. I was just trying to give you an example of why some people carry other than just for the hell of it as you seem to think. I was trying to appeal to your logical side.

As for you being gay, I could not care less. It is funny with all the names you were slinging that you don't like it when someone calls your watering hole a gay bar.