Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association, March 11, 2015:
Second Amendment Activists Disappointed But Not Surprised In Governor Haslam’s Flip-Flop on 2nd Amendment right to Constitutional Carry
Concerns remain that Governor Haslam remains primarily aligned with anti-gun associations and rhetoric
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Firearms Association today expressed severe disappointment in Governor Haslam’s continuing anti-Second Amendment rhetoric regarding the Constitutional Carry and other TFA endorsed pro-2nd Amendment legislation pending in the Tennessee Legislature.
“The fact that Governor Haslam is aligning himself with anti-2nd Amendment activists and organizations such as his former membership in Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun coalition, curiously misnamed Mayors Against Illegal Guns, remains ‘troubling’,” said Tennessee Firearms Association Executive Director John Harris. “But this should come as no surprise given Governor Haslam’s record of being against the rights of law abiding gun owners and instead more consistently siding with those like Mayor Bloomberg who works to oppress fundamental human rights. It is also surprising as he seems to champion programs as governor that sound more like the work of President Obama than a principled constitutional conservative.”
In 2009 Governor Haslam supported a ban on handguns in city parks while serving as Mayor of Knoxville. At that time, he was a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization. Bill Haslam openly withdrew public support of Mayor Bloomberg’s attack on the 2nd Amendment just prior to announcing his run for the office of governor in Tennessee – which was about the same time that he suddenly became an NRA member. But actions speak louder than words is an adage that has great truth.
When he ran for Governor, Bill Haslam promised the Tennessee Firearms Association’s members in an open, video taped meeting that he was very supportive of the Second Amendment. He further announced at that video taped meeting that he would even sign a “constitutional carry” law into effect if he became governor. See, http://tennesseefirearms.com/haslam/
However, in the last five years since he was first elected governor, Bill Haslam has not asked that a single constitutional carry bill be passed nor has he generally been viewed as being even remotely supportive of other fundamental Second Amendment initiatives.
Senate Bill 0780 by Sen. Beavers and House Bill by Rep. Womick were scheduled for votes in the respective Senate and House committees this week, would restore Second Amendment protections to permit holders by removing any requirement for civilian handgun permit but providing for an optional permit for purposes such as reciprocity. The result would be that a fundamental infringement of the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens in Tennessee would be repealed and the state laws would be brought into compliance with the 2nd Amendment.
However, Governor Haslam notified Sen. Beavers and Rep. Womick just last Friday that he is opposing the Constitutional Carry legislation despite his campaign promise. In addition, he notified many other legislators that he was also opposing their various 2nd Amendment bills in what appears to be a wholesale, Obama-style, attack on the constitutional rights of Tennesseans.
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.