Mt. Juliet will let permit holders' guns in parks - WKRN News 2

Mt. Juliet will let permit holders' guns in parks

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MT. JULIET, Tenn. - The city of Mt. Juliet will allow handgun carry permit holders to carry their weapons into city parks when a new law goes into effect in September.

City commissioners Monday night voted 3-2 against a measure to opt out of the new law.

The vote is as divided among Mt. Juliet parents spending Wednesday afternoon in one of the city's parks.

William Hartley has four children and worries about the safety concerns.

"If I start seeing individuals that aren't law enforcement officials carrying guns, it'll cause more of an uncomfortable environment," he told News 2.

Erik Wood, also a father, feels differently

"We like to come to this quite park often.  We feel like it's a safe park but you never know if you'll be approached by someone.  If somebody is there who might approach you, you need to be able to defend yourself," he said.

Brian Seagraves has two children and can see both sides of the issue.

"I grew up in the outdoors, I was an avid hunter, so I am pro-gun, but in an atmosphere like [a park], with lots of kids and opportunities to come up, I would probably be against guns in parks," he said.

Wood said it's not the handgun permit holders you need to worry about.

"The people who are going to take the time to do it legally and follow the law are not going to waste their time pulling a gun and acting stupid with it," he concluded.

Still, Hartley argues allowing weapons in places with small children is "not a good idea."

Like Mt. Juliet, the city of Columbia has also chosen to not opt out of the new law.

Shelbyville will vote on the issue next week.

Franklin, Brentwood, Williamson County, Murfreesboro and Clarksville have voted to keep current bans on guns in parks in place.

Tennessee cities and counties have until September 1, when the new law goes into effect, to opt out.

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