Metro compromise ahead for 'guns in parks'? - WKRN News 2

Metro compromise ahead for 'guns in parks'?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As Metro Council members consider opting out of the new guns in parks law, some say a compromise could be reached instead.

Metro Councilman Randy Foster filed an amendment to the local bill that allows Metro government to opt out of following the "guns in parks" measure, which was recently passed by state lawmakers and goes into effect September 1.

The bill allows handgun permit holders to carry weapons into local parks, but it also allows local government to "opt out" if they vote to do so.

Several cities and counties have already decided to opt out of the bill, including Goodlettsville, Murfreesboro, Brentwood, Clarksville and Williamson County.

The city council in Columbia decided to allow guns in parks.

Foster says he is "looking for a compromise," and that could include allowing handguns after dark or in remote parts of parks.

"I am concerned that an all or nothing solution is not in the best interest of our community," said Foster.

He told The Tennessean he wants to allow guns in parks from one hour before sunset to closing, and on greenways and nature trails.

Council members deferred the amendment at Tuesday night's Metro Council meeting.

Foster says he hopes "the issue is explored further."

"After dark almost anywhere is more dangerous than when the sun is shining, and where it is desolate, like on some of our greenways, scary place to be if you are alone," Foster said.

The Metro police captain who oversees city parks says parks are safe compared to other parts of the city.

Captain Rich Foley says there were 79 violent incidents on Metro park grounds in 2008.

The Metro Council will take up the issue again at their next meeting on August 4.

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