On May 9, the Tennessee senate passed a bill that will require local governments to set up metal detectors and provide security to keep guns out of places like government buildings public transportation, and city-owned venues including zoos, museums, state fairs, and more. If they don’t comply with the prescribed and extremely expensive security measures, localities could be sued by individuals and “membership organizations” such as gun rights groups. Those organizations would be awarded triple their attorney’s fees if they prevail. Should a city be unable to afford to comply with the prescribed security measures or if they do not want to risk being sued, they are left with only one option: allowing guns in these places.
This bill leaves cities with three choices – spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to purchase metal detection devices and hire security personnel, spend millions of taxpayer dollars fighting the gun lobby in court, or allow guns in these places, despite the public safety concerns voiced by law enforcement and mayors.
We call upon Governor Haslam to veto this bill. We call upon him to listen to the men and women of law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. We call upon him to listen to the mayors of these cities who understand the potential financial burden this bill will cause their cities.
Please contact your city leaders and ask them how they plan to handle this new law. Will they add millions to their budgets to comply with the prescribed (and extremely expensive) security measures required by the legislation? Will they continue to operate as they have in the past and risk being sued for triple legal fees? Or will they give in and allow guns in these places? Please urge them to call upon the governor to veto this bill, HB508. Let them know you oppose an outside lobbying group bullying cities into spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars or allowing guns onto our buses, into our government buildings, our zoos, fairs, and festivals.
Mayor Megan Barry
615- 862 – 6000
Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson
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Thousands of Metro Nashville middle and high school students who attend out of zone schools are issued free passes to ride MTA buses to and from school during the school year. This bill, should it be passed, could result in guns being carried on buses packed with metro students.
Metro Nashville School Board
Mayor Madeline Rogero
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch
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Mayor Andy Berke
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher
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Mayor Jim Strickland
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