Guns-in-parks bill facing deferral

Monday, July 20, 2009 at 5:31pm

Metro Council might wait until next month to decide whether to opt out of the state guns-in-parks legislation.

District 8 Metro Councilwoman Karen Bennett, the chair of the Council public safety committee, will recommend that the bill be deferred at Tuesday’s committee meeting.

If the bill gets deferred in committee, then by rule it would be deferred when it is heard at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

Bennett is recommending deferral until after the July 30 open forum on the issue. The forum, which will take place at 6 p.m. in the council chambers, will feature representatives on both sides of the issue of allowing gun carry permit holders to have concealed weapons in public parks.

“I think it’s a smart choice,” Bennett said. “I am going to request that they defer it so we make an informed intelligent decision on it.”

All indications are that the bill will pass and Metro will join communities like Murfreesboro and Williamson County, which have already opted out of the new state legislation.

The Tennessee legislature passed a law allowing carry permit holders to take guns into parks, but added an opt-provision for local governments.

Council already passed a memorializing resolution opposing guns in parks and the bill passed first reading, despite an effort to withdraw it before it was referred to committees.

The bill’s primary sponsor, at-large Councilman Jerry Maynard, could not immediately be reached for comment.

District 27 Councilman Randy Foster filed a series of amendments to the ordinance, which would allow guns on greenways and an hour before sunset, until a park closed.


5 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 7/21/09 at 5:02

This place is getting to be like the wild west. I want as many legal guns in the park (and everywhere else) as possible to keep the criminals off guard.

By: Kosh III on 7/21/09 at 6:34

An amendment to allow them on Greenways? Why? They are quite safe---aside from the roving bands of killer gnats.

There is no need to be armed in a park or greenway. Please provide facts and data showing the necesssity. How are they so dangerous that one must be ready to shoot to kill at any moment? They are safe.

By: JeF64 on 7/21/09 at 7:49

I'm glad our legislator's are spending their time & my money debating this crisis issue. Nothing is more important that the epidemic of gun crime in our parks. Things are getting done up at State Gov't!

By: govskeptic on 7/21/09 at 10:21

The majority of the Greenways trails are isolated. Maybe they should be left out of the park prohibition portions of the bill?

By: pswindle on 7/21/09 at 12:19

This is what happens when the GOP takes control. They are beholden to the special interest, and not for the welfare of the people.