Press Releases

Gun Owners Endorse Ramsey for Guv

Press Release from Ron Ramsey for Governor; June 24, 2010:

(Springfield, VA)—Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund today announced the endorsement of Ron Ramsey for Governor of Tennessee.

Ramsey, the current Lieutenant Governor, “Displays a constitutional and historically accurate understanding of the Second Amendment and the threats that face it today,” said GOA Vice-Chairman Tim Macy.

As a strong Tenth Amendment advocate, Ramsey believes that “We must have a Governor who can stand up to federal officials who want to erode our basic rights.”

In 1997, while serving in the state legislature, Ramsey pushed a concealed carry bill that improved the state’s right-to-carry. Ramsey’s bill, which was signed into law, streamlined the application process so honest, law-abiding citizens would not have to wait up to a year to receive their permit.

GOA-PVF noted, in a letter to supporters, that Ramsey’s strong support of the Constitution and the Second Amendment stands in stark contrast to other candidates in the race.

Bill Haslam, mayor of Knoxville since 2003, was a member of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s gun-grabbing group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

As a member of the group, Bill Haslam’s name was part of a 2007 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supporting a bill to prohibit the hundreds of thousands of people on the federal government’s so-called terror “watch list” from purchasing firearms.

Under the bill, the Attorney General is permitted to strip away the civil liberties of Americans without due process of law and without the accused even knowing the details of the suspicion.

This provision was part of a larger bill that would have federalized even more gang and gun crimes, which properly belong at the state and local levels.

In 2008, Haslam’s name again appeared on a letter to Reid and Pelosi seeking to close the non-existent and misleadingly named “gun show loophole.” This legislation would have led to the closing down of gun shows and opened the door to complete federal control of private firearms transactions.

“As soon as Haslam announced his bid for governor, he left Bloomberg’s anti-gun group with much haste. If that isn’t the clearest sign of pandering and lip service, then we don’t know what is,” said Macy.

Another opponent in the race, Representative Zach Wamp, was criticized by GOA for “joining forces with Sen. John McCain to put a stranglehold on free speech over his support for the so-called Campaign Finance Reform Act.

“When Republican opposition stymied the bill in 2001, the anti-freedom crowd circulated a ‘discharge petition’ to force it on to the House floor. Zach Wamp joined a handful of other Republican turncoats to help pass a law that made it illegal to publish certain political information within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.

“Of all the types of speech protected by the First Amendment, political speech was foremost on the minds of the Founding Fathers. Just this year, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that fact and in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (a case in which Gun Owners Foundation participated) undid much of the damage caused by Wamp and his congressional allies.

“In this race for Governor, the choice for gun owners and sportsmen is clear. Ron Ramsey is a proven, effective and constitutionally minded leader who will stand up to all attacks on our right to keep and bear arms,” concluded Mr. Macy.

To learn more about the Ramsey campaign, please visit

Paid for by Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


Lawmakers Blast Bredesen’s Guns-in-Bars Veto

Both barrels of the General Assembly are loading up and aimed at overriding Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen’s veto of legislation allowing firearm permit-holders to pack heat in any Tennessee establishments that sells beer or firewater.

Under the legislation, SB 3012, any bar or restaurant could post signs banning guns. If the owners do not, permit carriers would be allowed to enter with their pieces — so long as they don’t partake in drinking alcoholic beverages.

The vote on the final 2010 version of the bill in the House was 66-31. In the Senate, it passed on a vote of 23-9.

But the prohibition alone against booze consumption while possessing a weapon isn’t good enough for the governor. In his veto message released Tuesday afternoon, Bredesen indicated he believes allowing citizens to even bring guns into an establishment that serves wine, beer or liquor violates the general rule of thumb that “guns and alcohol don’t mix.”

Bredesen, who says he is a gun owner himself, observed in his veto statement that the legislation passed by both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly this year is little different than the legislation passed in 2009. That law was later was ruled unconstitutional by a Nashville judge, who said the provisions of the measure dictating where patrons could or couldn’t legally carry were too confusing for the average citizen to understand or figure out on their own.

Bredesen said he values “the constitutional right that allows me to protect my home and family.” But the governor indicated he believes the bill violates “common-sense.”

Referring to government-imposed bans on guns in places that serve alcohol, the governor wrote, “These rules don’t diminish our collective freedom, but ensure that this fundamental right is exercised in a common-sense manner that ensures the survival of the right itself.”

Legislators of both partisan stripes however promise that it’s the governor’s veto that won’t ultimately survive.

Dickson Democrat Doug Jackson, the chief Senate sponsor of the legislation this year and last, said the governor’s veto “was expected,” and that he recognizes the issue is an emotional one.

Jackson added, though, that he hopes people who believe in the democratic process will take solace in the assurance that “supermajorities” of Tennessee’s elected representatives “have looked at this very carefully,” and determined the general public has little to fear.

“During the time that the law was in effect, I didn’t hear one complaint from restaurant owners or patrons,” Jackson said. “The concerns perpetuated by opponents of this legislation were unfounded, and they will be proven so again.”

The House sponsor of the bill, Rep. Curry Todd, a Collierville Republican, was unavailable for comment, but in a press release issued by the House Republican Caucus he said, “This bill passed by two-thirds in both bodies, indicating that there is strong support for this measure.”

In a telephone interview with, House Republican leader Jason Mumpower of Bristol, said, “I think we will probably override it faster than a speeding bullet.”

Mumpower said he believes the vote on the override in the House will come next week. That is likely the same time the Senate will vote on the matter, since that chamber is not meeting in session this week.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey weighed in as well, saying he is “confident we will override his veto, just as we did last year.”

“The legislation simply expands the ability of law-abiding permit holders to defend themselves and others in establishments which serve alcohol,” Ramsey said of the guns-in-bars bill. “It also allows owners to ban all weapons from their establishments and prohibits permit holders from consuming alcohol. Tennessee citizens who undergo the education and training required to obtain a permit should not be forced to relinquish their right to self-defense and the defense of their loved ones.”