Gun battle looms again at Tennessee capitol - WKRN News 2

Gun battle looms again at Tennessee capitol


Gun rights advocates are taking aim once again at Tennessee's Capitol Hill with a bill they call "safe commute."

"I think the next two years between the General Assembly and the gun owners of this state are not going to be one of Kumbaya," Tennessee Firearms Executive Director John Harris told Nashville's News 2.

The "Safe Commute" bill is more widely known as the "guns-in-parking lots" bill which divided last year's General Assembly and will likely do it again over whether or not college campuses or even some businesses should receive and exemption.

As guns sales in Tennessee remain near record levels, Second Amendment advocates are not backing down from the bill that would allow gun permit owners to carry their weapons just about anywhere as long as its concealed in their vehicles.

"This is about leaving the weapon secured in your own vehicle in the parking lot, or parking garage, it has nothing to do with getting the gun out of the car taking it into the classroom, stadium, campus or cafeteria," added Harris.

He doesn't think there should be an exemption on college campuses because "any exclusion defeats the purpose of the bill which is to allow handgun permit holders to transport firearms, which effectively disarms them going to the grocery store, picking up their kids after school."

Not so sure is Governor Bill Haslam who has faced numerous questions the past few days about the guns-in-parking lots bill and the powerful opposition from colleges and universities across the state.
"As last year, it will put property rights versus Second Amendment rights," Haslam said.

He's made it clear that he backs an exemption for colleges and universities, but says his administration will not offer a bill doing so.

"I personally think the exclusion of educational institutions would be a key part," Haslam said to reporters on Tuesday.

The governor also worries that allow guns-in parking-lots/safe commute might be a negative for the state's business climate, with large employers like Volkswagen against it.

"They should have a voice," he added.

Come January, when lawmakers head back to session, expect plenty of voices on a bill where even the names are controversial.

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