Council member looks to ban guns in parks - WKRN News 2

Council member looks to ban guns in parks

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The city of Nashville is the latest to take aim at a law allowing handgun carry permit holders to carry their weapons into state parks.

Metro Councilmember At-Large Jerry Maynard calls the law, set to take effect in September, "bad policy."

"We didn't expect it to pass and when it did pass, we then filed legislation immediately so we can opt out," Maynard told News 2.

Proponents of the law say allowing guns in parks will make them safer.

They say only law-abiding citizens can pass the background check required to carry a concealed weapon.

Maynard says while he supports the right to bear arms the right, he says, is "not absolute."

"We understand the local government has right to regulate and that regulation has to be reasonable.  It is reasonable to say you cannot bring arms, firearms, into a park where there are children," he said.

Reggie Rogers owns a gun but leaves it at home when he brings his three-year-old daughter to the park.

"There [has to] be a neutral zone," he said, saying allowing guns in parks will probably create more problems than it will prevent.

"It doesn't mean that just because you're of legal age and have gotten a permit that you should be carrying a weapon here in the park," he said.  "There's nothing to guarantee that you're that accurate, there are not backstops in the park, bullets ricochet."

"If you look at crimes, crimes are not being committed in parks," said Maynard.  "There is no crime problem, so no problem to solve by passing this law."

"There's definitely good argument on both sides," park-goer Kristin James told News 2, but "personally I would prefer there not be guns in the parks."

The Metro Council will take up the park gun ban on Tuesday.   It will be the second of three required readings.

Goodlettsville, Murfreesboro, Brentwood, Clarksville and Williamson County have already opted out of the new law, keeping bans on guns in parks in place.

Local governments have until September 1 to opt out, when the new law takes effect.

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