'Guns and Judges' bill differences draw fire - WKRN News 2

'Guns and Judges' bill differences draw fire


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The so-called ‘Guns and Judges' bill is likely headed to a conference committee after the Senate and House passed two very different versions.

House sponsor Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar said his county General Sessions judge originally brought him the idea but now he's concerned about what his fellow lawmakers in the other chambers have done.

"What's passed by the Senate, I have talked to my judge, it's not going to do him any good at all," said Shaw before the House was to consider the Senate's changes to the bill.

The original House version would allow current and retired judges to carry handguns anywhere police officers can, provided they have proper handgun training and a carry permit.

The Senate tacked on an amendment that essentially changed the bill to allow judges to carry their weapons in the courtroom, but it did not extend the same gun privileges that police officers have.

Nashville General Session Judge Casey Moreland would like the see a law passed that is similar to the House version.

His reasons are similar to the safety concerns from the wet Tennessee judge who suggested the law.

"I have been cussed out at Tiger Mart and sneered at O'Charley's and you never know who you are going to run into," Judge Moreland told News 2 after busy schedule Wednesday that included going back and forth between Drug Court and Traffic Court.

House members will consider actions by the Senate Thursday morning.

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