Tomorrow, the Tennessee Senate is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 1496, legislation which seeks to prevent municipalities from passing and enforcing ordinances that ban the carrying of firearms in city, county and municipal parks. Please contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support SB 1496.
Sponsored by state Senator Stacey Campfield (R-7), SB 1496 would allow law-abiding Tennesseans with a Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) to carry a firearm into all state, city, county and municipal parks. Current Tennessee law allows a municipality or county to prohibit the possession of handguns, and therefore one's right to self-defense, while at a public park, natural area, historic park, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by a county or municipality. This law poses a problem for citizens by creating a patchwork of laws across the state with regard to which localities have prohibited firearms in their parks. Gun-free parks should be called what they really are -- self-defense-free zones. Current prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in parks do not prevent criminals from breaking the law. They do, however, prevent law-abiding Tennesseans from protecting themselves using the most effective means available while they enjoy the parks funded with their tax dollars.
SB 1496 would allow law-abiding individuals to exercise their basic right of self-defense. Additionally, having laws which vary throughout the state for the carrying of firearms in county and municipal parks could turn an otherwise law-abiding citizen into an unsuspecting and unintentional criminal. Actual criminals do not obey gun control laws and do not apply for Handgun Carry Permits.
Please contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to protect your right of self-defense in ALL Tennessee parks by voting “YES” on SB 1496. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.