Haslam signs Tennessee guns in parks bill into law

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – From mayors, to those in parks, questions remained after a controversial gun bill was signed, making it the law immediately.

The governor defended signing the guns in parks bill saying in a letter to the two legislative speakers that “the final version of the bill made clear that guns are not allowed at school-related activities taking place in parks.”

Not everyone agreed.

“The more clarity we can bring–the better,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean told News 2 Friday. “How the law gets enforced, how the information is given to people, seems like a lot of confusion around it.”

So with the confusion the mayor is talking about, what about carrying a handgun near the new downtown amphitheater? Or the new minor league stadium that is called First Tennessee “Park?”

More concern was heard from Metro Schools Director Jesse Register, who has 50 schools adjacent to local parks.

“Our children are in parks all the time and there is just too much chance for accidents to occur,” he told News 2

Register would seem to agree with Mayor Dean’s assessment of the new law that “we are going to have to take steps working with the Metro Department of Law to understand.”

Tom Cross, the associate director of the Metro Nashville Department of Law, says, “We have got some work to do,” but could not say yet if handguns would be banned from buildings in local parks.

The National Rifle Association also weighed in on the new law, which was originally aimed at becoming law on April 6, just days before the group’s recent convention in Nashville.

“This important measure advances Tennessee’s long history of supporting our Second Amendment freedoms,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Law-abiding Tennesseans have a fundamental right to protect themselves, whether in their homes, or in parks. This will remove a patchwork of laws throughout the state that could have turned law-abiding citizens into unintentional criminals.”

“On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we want to thank Senator John Stevens, along with Representatives Mike Harrison and Tilman Goins for their leadership in this effort,” added Cox.

Click here for full coverage on the guns in parks bill.PDF: Gov. Haslam – Letter on Guns in Parks

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