Press Release from the Tennessee Firearms Association, Dec. 10, 2015:
Senator Brian Kelsey asks Tennessee Attorney General for Ruling on local regulation of Gun Shows
NASHVILLE, TN: The Tennessee Firearms Association’s Executive Director, John Harris, today expressed support for the move by Senator Brian Kelsey, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary, to obtain an official opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General on several specific questions regarding whether local governments, specifically Nashville, have the legal authority to regulate gun shows that have historically taken place on public fairgrounds and similar publicly owned properties.
“Nashville, under its liberal Mayor, has tried to stop the long-standing tradition of allowing gun shows at the centrally-located and publicly-owned Nashville Fairgrounds.” Harris continued, “because, apparently, the liberal Mayor and 3 members of the Fair Board thought that they could do it and get away with it. It is now clear that this move by Nashville, under Mayor Megan Barry’s leadership, has caused a significant objection from citizens and elected officials all over the state of Tennessee. Their actions are clearly an attack on the 2nd Amendment and also an attack on legal commerce that these small handful of public officials appear to personally prefer to stop.”
The Tennessee Legislature previously enacted legislation that prohibits local authorities from regulating any aspect of “the whole field” of firearms and ammunition in Tennessee and reserving that power solely to the legislature. But, local governments, such as Nashville, apparently feel that the beliefs of a handful of local government officials can be implemented even if prohibited by state law.
Harris says that even in Davidson county the citizens have been so fed up with local government officials trying to close the entire fairgrounds that they enacted a charter amendment severely restricting that type of action and protecting the continued use of the fairgrounds for any type of event that had occurred there on or before December 31, 2010. Nashville’s progressive leaders who are actually responsible for orchestrating this ban are clearly in violation of that local ordinance.”
Harris concluded, “TFA will be interested in seeing the Attorney General’s opinion and continuing to work with legislators as necessary to curtail the opportunities of local government officials from intentionally or otherwise violating state laws. We will stand up for the 2nd Amendment and gun owners in Tennessee against this intentional usurpation of our rights as citizens to engage in lawful conduct on public property.”