The Tennessee House of Representatives has joined the Senate in setting aside Gov. Phil Bredesen’s guns-in-bars veto.
Tennesseans who are legally permitted to carry firearms in public can now bring their weapons into establishments that serve alcoholic beverages — an act that was formerly prohibited in the state.
This is the second time since last year that such a bill has been passed, vetoed, then the veto overridden.
This year’s bill is in fact more permissive than that passed in 2009. It allows licensed weapons carriers to possess their firearms in bars, and not — like last year’s — just in establishments that make the majority of their revenues off food sales.
As approved, the legislation would allow owners of establishments who do not want handgun permit holders to bring their weapons into their businesses to post signs that would ban guns. They would be able to do so either by hanging up signs at entrances using the universal red circle-and-slash or by posting up a copy of the actual law.
A handgun permit holder caught drinking while packing a firearm could be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
The vote on the override measure was 61-30.
There was no discussion on the bill, which was taken after 9 p.m. and subsequent to a long day of legislative action on the House floor.