Press Releases

TN Senate Minority Leader: Guns-in-Parks Law ‘Created Serious Problems for Law Enforcement’

Press release from the Democratic Caucus of the Tennessee Senate, Sept. 30, 2015:

Harris: Guns in parks Law Endangers Public, Law Enforcement

Lawmakers must amend law to stop special interests from forcing guns at crowded events

NASHVILLE – Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris released the following statement in response to the Tennessee Firearms Assocation’s decision to sue the city of Knoxville over what they say was a violation of the state guns in parks law during the Tennessee Valley Fair at Chilhowee Park earlier this month:

“Law enforcement has the responsibility to keep us safe, particularly in our urban areas,” Sen. Harris said. “The new law appears to allow folks to bring guns to crowded events. This puts law enforcement in an untenable position. They have to be able to quickly identify a lawful permit owner from a criminal with a gun in a crowded place, and do it in a matter of seconds. This challenge is why we wisely keep guns away from the state Capitol.”

“I should also mention that it won’t matter whether a lawful permit holder or a criminal fires a gun during a crowded event. The unfortunate result is the same. It means there will be a stampede and means that folks will get hurt. It’s a tough thing to balance the right to be armed under the Second Amendment with the need to prevent stampedes and keep our large crowd events safe. But that’s the job of the state legislature. In this case, we created serious problems for law enforcement, and we have to fix it.”

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