Gun rights advocates want 'opt out' clause repealed - WKRN News 2

Gun rights advocates want 'opt out' clause repealed


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Second Amendment advocacy group says it plans to push state lawmakers to repeal the controversial "opt-out" clause of a new law allowing guns in local parks.

It comes Tuesday, the first day that handgun permit holders can carry their weapons in local parks, but many large cities and counties have decided to "opt out" the new law.

Tennessee Firearms Association President John Harris thinks municipalities should be making the opt-out decision on a park by park basis, and not decide all of them at once as most municipalities have.

"I feel that is not consistent what the general assembly wanted," said Harris, adding that Lewisburg is the only town to have a park-by-park vote about implementing the new carry law.

"The law, as its being implemented, creates a lot of confusion and certainty about what is off limits and what is not," Harris said.

Harris believes Metro Nashville, which opted out, is not following the law explicitly.

He says signs have not been posted that say that guns are banned.

House democrat leader Gary Odom thinks repealing the opt-out clause is a moot argument because local governments can do what they want with their parks since they own them.

"I believe in property rights. I support the ability of a property owner to say what can and can't happen on their property," said the Nashville lawmaker.

He added that the entire issue of handgun permits may eventually be revisited because there are now so many conflicting laws.

The Tennessee Firearms Assoc. believes city and counties can vote to "opt back in" if they choose to do it on a park by park basis.

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