Press Release from the Tennessee Firearms Association, April 29, 2014:
TFA Launches ‘Open Records’ Request Regarding Legislative Shenanigans Against
Pro-Gun Legislation; Suspicion of concerted effort to kill pro-gun bills in 2014 legislative session
NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Firearms Association has filed and will be filing additional open records requests in the coming days over the death of multiple pro-gun bills in the state House during the final hours of legislative session. Two specific bills that were killed in the legislature under suspicious circumstances by the Republican leadership include ‘Guns in Parks’ (HB1407) and ‘Open Carry’ (HB2409).
“The time for transparency is now” John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association quipped. “The questionable circumstances in which these two pro-gun bills were killed leads us to believe there was a concerted effort by Republican leadership in the state House to ensure there would be no floor vote on these very popular and necessary changes in the law.”
Open Carry (HB2409) was killed after a questionable fiscal note was attached and an erroneous statement given to the Finance Sub Committee by TN Dept of Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons, an appointee of Bill Haslam. Guns in Parks (HB1407) was rolled after the budget with an equally misleading and suspicious fiscal note then the Finance Subcommittee refused to even hear it prior to the end of session.
“We see the fingerprints of Governor Haslam’s office all over this shenanigans” Harris continued. “The Governor openly opposed both bills and worked with House leadership to kill these bills behind the scenes. We want to know who, when, and why this happened. There are a lot of serious questions about very suspicious costs estimates be put onto legislation by House leadership or the Governor’s administration when the legislation itself did not require the state to spend any money to implement those proposed laws.”
The Tennessee Firearms Associations has already filed an open records request with the Department of Safety which is the source of the suspicious fiscal estimates on the ‘Open Carry’ law. It is also considering additional open records requests as they relate to HB2409 and HB1407 with the following offices:
– Governor Bill Haslam’s office
– TN Department of Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons’ office
– House Speaker Beth Harwell’s office
– House Finance Committee Chairman Charles Sargent’s office
– House Finance Subcommittee Chairman Michael Harrison’s office
– House Clerk Joe McCord’s office
– House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick
– Rep Steve McDaniel
– Rep Tilman Goins
– Rep Micah Van Huss
When laws are made in the back rooms that are inhabited only by the Governor’s administration and legislative leadership, misdeeds are more easily concealed. Even open records requests may never reveal the truth behind the shenanigans that seemed to impact not just firearms related laws but others this year in the Tennessee General Assembly and in particularly in the House Finance Committee and its subcommittee.
The Tennessee Firearms Association was founded in 1995 and formed to defend the right to keep and bear arms and to educate the citizenry on the responsible use, ownership and carrying of firearms. The TFA is Tennessee’s only no-compromise gun group.