published Monday, May 4th, 2009

Legislature conference committee approves ‘guns in bars’ bill

NASHVILLE — Handgun-carry permit holders will be able to bring their loaded firearms into bars, nightclubs and “honky tonks” under a conference committee report approved this afternoon by a majority of House and Senate conferees.

House conference committee members voted 3-2 to ignore the House-passed bill and accept the Senate-passed version. Senate conference committee members voted 4-0 to stick with their bill.

As a result, the House conferees will recommend to the full House that members abandon a provision in their bill that provides a curfew banning permit holders from going armed between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. in establishments selling alcohol.

The majority recommendation also will be to eliminate a House provision banning permit holders from bringing their weapons into age-restricted venues.

Both were an effort to keep the bill from becoming a guns-in-bars measure.

Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville, who wound up voting against the conference committee report, suggested colleagues were being hypocritical.

They have “complained so many times about federal mandates imposed on us at the state level, and here we’ve got a bill that pre-empts local government from saying we don’t want it,” he said.

“Booze and guns” do not mix, he said.

Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, and Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, the Senate and House sponsors of the bill, said the bill still would not allow permit holders to drink while carrying a gun.

They also said establishments could post signs banning permit holders from carrying their guns into their venues.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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GeorgiaRebel said...

"... booze and guns don't mix." Neither do booze and cars, or booze and pregnancy, or booze and surgery, or .... I see how well the law is doing at stopping those combinations. All the law allows is for someone who is not drinking (why do politicians have trouble understanding what that means and lie about mixing booze and guns???) to be able to protect themselves and others with a firearm. the law decriminalizes a person exercising their right to protect themselves.

Tennessee to politicians, come in politicians.... Wake up and quit trying to micromanage our lives. Joe Armstrong needs to quit trying to push a stupid, state mandate that forces people to go unprotected and quit whining like a baby over people exercising their inherent right to protect themselves.

May 4, 2009 at 6:48 p.m.
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