McWherter: Haslam Needs to Explain Stance on Gun Carry Permits

Press Release from Mike McWherter for Governor; Oct. 20, 2010:

Nashville – Gubernatorial Candidate Mike McWherter is demanding Bill Haslam clarify his position on handgun carry permits following statements made at a Tennessee Firearms Association meeting.

On Monday night, Bill Haslam was asked if he would sign a bill doing away with requiring permits to carry handguns and he responded, “”If the Legislature passed that and brought that to me, I said I would sign it.”

“Eliminating the permit process would allow anyone with a gun free reign in our communities and neighborhoods.” said Mike McWherter. “I am surprised that Bill Haslam, who fought alongside Mayor Bloomberg to remove guns from the streets, is now favoring the carry of handguns with reckless abandon, and I think he needs to explain the reasoning behind his decision to reverse his stance on the issue.”

There are roughly 300,000 handgun carry permit holders in Tennessee. To qualify, individuals must pass a handgun safety course, a criminal background check and pay a $115 fee. Carry permits are revoked for felony convictions and can be suspended for pending criminal charges or for court orders of protection.

“Does Bill Haslam oppose required handgun training and criminal background checks? Does he support convicted felons carrying concealed weapons? Is he ok allowing someone who’s under a restraining order to carry a firearm in public? asked McWherter. “I don’t think the people of Tennessee or our law enforcement officers want gang members, criminals and other unstable individuals carrying concealed weapons. Bill Haslam is willing to put the safety of Tennessee families at risk for political gain, this is irresponsible and speaks volumes about his character.”

About Mike McWherter

Mike McWherter, the only candidate in the race who is not a career politician, is a successful small business owner in West Tennessee. A native of Northwest Tennessee, he now lives in Jackson with his wife Mary Jane and their children Walker and Bess. The McWherter for Governor campaign can be found online at  www.mikemcwherter.com.