FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2015
BREAKING – Guns in Parks, Guns in Schools, Guns in School Parking Lots, and Exploding Target Bills
Added to Committee Agenda in House Vote Monday Night
Four firearm bills are late adds to this Wednesday’s (3/4) Civil Justice Subcommittee Agenda
Nashville – Four gun-related bills were just added to this week’s Civil Justice Subcommittee agenda. The bills were among 8 included in a last minute addendum. One guns in parks bill, one guns in schools bill, one guns in school parking lot bill, and one seeking to make exploding targets legal. A bill to allow permit holders to carry guns in the same manner as off duty police officers was already on the agenda for this week.
The Civil Justice Subcommittee will meet at 3:00 CST on Wednesday March, 4 in HHR31.
HB995 by *Harrison, Holsclaw (SB1171 by Stevens) which, as introduced, allows a person with a handgun carry permit to carry a firearm in any state, county, or municipal park or other recreation area; deletes provisions allowing local governments to prohibit carrying in parks by resolution or ordinance.
HB 173 by Moody (SB149 by Green) which, as introduced, removes the provision making it illegal to possess a firearm on any property used by a school for the administration of any public or private educational institution. This bill, according to Rep. Moody, is in response to the incident involving Williamson County Commissioner Barb Sturgeon who was arrested and later indicted for bringing her concealed gun in her purse to a workshop being conducted on school property.
HB 934 by Matheny (SB874 by Nicely) which, as introduced, permits the use of exploding targets in lawful sporting activity; exempts the use of exploding materials for lawful sporting activity from the Tennessee Blasting Standards Act of 1975. A recently issued attorney general’s opinion stated that exploding targets violate Tennessee law. This bill would change the law.
HB 0481 by Matheny (SB070 by *Kelsey, Bowling) which, as introduced, clarifies that it is not an offense for a person to transport and properly store a firearm in a motor vehicle parked on school property. This could allow students who legally own guns to keep them in their car.
These four bills are in addition to a third bill by Matheny that was already on the agenda for this week. HB320 (SB628 by *Bailey, *Briggs) which, authorizes handgun permit holders to carry firearms in the same manner as off-duty law enforcement officers. In Nashville, basic Police Trainees are hired after a lengthy selection process and attending training for approximately twenty-two (22) weeks. Police officers complete 950 hours of training and then 40 hours of additional in-service training yearly. From the Police Training page of the nashville.gov website: “The program is guided by minimum requirements established by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, the governing agency of law enforcement training on behalf of the State of Tennessee and the standards developed by the Metropolitan Police Department. Our commitment to the citizens of Nashville demands that only the highest caliber individual serve as a Police Officer. Under the guidance of a committed chain of command, the goal of building a professional team of officers is entrusted to the staff of the Police Training Academy.” To be a manicurist in Tennessee requires 600 hours of training. However, handgun permit training in Tennessee is only 8 hours, 942 hours short of the training required to be a law enforcement officer.
The Safe Tennessee Project is very concerned about ALL of these bills as we vehemently feel that they are unneeded and unnecessarily put Tennesseans, especially children, at risk. We implore citizens concerned about our state’s high rate of gun injury, negligent discharge and accidental shootings to contact their elected Representatives and Senators, Speaker Harwell, Speaker Ramsey, and Governor Haslam to tell them to please say no to these bills.
The Safe Tennessee Project is a non-partisan, volunteer based organization dedicated to addressing the epidemic of gun violence in Tennessee by building awareness about gun safety, outreach to the community, and effective policy advocacy. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @SafeTenn