Tennessee Gun Bills
The New York Times covered Tennessee's recent gun bill laws. Tennessee has a Republican controlled state legislature. Unemployment and malnourished children are abundant, but the legislature chose to pass lax gun laws. Again, folks, I'm not frightened by those who use guns responsibly; I'm worried about the kooks and criminals.
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE Published: June 15, 2009
Cities and counties across Tennessee are preparing this week to deal with the fallout from a raft of pro-gun bills recently signed into law in the state, where Republicans are flexing their new-found strength in the legislature.
Among the new laws is one that would allow people who have gun permits to carry guns in all public parks in the state. Another would exempt from federal regulation guns and ammunition made in Tennessee and kept within its borders.
The measure with the most immediate impact may be the guns-in-parks law. Cities and towns have the chance to opt out of it by Sept. 1 and are beginning debate now about whether to do so. The City of Nashville is scheduled to start hearings on Tuesday.
The measure allowing guns in state parks went into effect Friday and will probably go into effect in national parks starting in February. It applies to the 220,000 Tennesseans who hold gun permits as well as visitors from other states with valid permits.
The law exempting Tennessee from federal gun regulations, while having little immediate effect, may have broader implications down the road. It comes as part of a states’-rights movement that tries to test the limits of federal power. The Tennessee bill is nearly identical to one signed into law in Montana and similar to ones under consideration in other states. Since Montana’s law does not take effect until Oct. 1, the one in Tennessee, which takes effect July 1, could become the first test case in the courts.