Democrats Looking to Amend Guns-in-Parks Law

Press Release from the Democratic Caucuses of the Tennessee House and Senate, Aug. 31, 2015:

Legislation would clarify law to keep firearms out of ticketed events, professional sports venues

NASHVILLE – Legislation filed today by Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris and state Rep. John Ray Clemmons will exempt events held in public parks and major sports venues from the controversial “guns in parks” law passed this year.

“Allowing guns in areas with large crowds where alcohol is consumed is a recipe for disaster, and creates a grave danger for law enforcement officers, who might not be able to distinguish friendlies with a gun from criminals,” Sen. Harris said.

“Concert promoters made clear that they want the ability to ban weapons at their events, and rely exclusively on law enforcement and security to keep attendees safe. Concerts generate millions of dollars of economic activity in Tennessee each year, and we have to take their concerns very seriously.”

SB 1432 would add a new exemption to the guns in parks law, so that guns aren’t allowed at events at public parks that require a ticket. The exemption would end at the conclusion of such an event.

The law also makes clear that the guns in parks law does not apply to stadiums and complexes used by a professional sports team to play, practice or train.

“The legislation is the result of feedback Sen. Harris and I received from law enforcement, business owners and families across Tennessee,” Rep. Clemmons said. “Everyone agrees that the law, as written, poses a serious threat to our families’ safety and our local economy. We’re proposing a common sense solution with the support of those on both sides of the gun debate to try and keep public events in Tennessee safe.”

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State Sen. Lee Harris represents District 29 in Memphis and serves as Senate Minority Leader. Follow the Senate Democratic Caucus on Twitter at @TNSenateDems.

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons represents District 55 in Nashville. Follow him on Twitter at @JRClemmons.