published Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Guns-in-parks proposal clears first TN House panel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A proposal to strip local government control over whether to allow people with handgun carry permits to be armed at parks, playgrounds and sports fields has cleared its first legislative hurdle in the House.

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee advanced the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Tilman Goins of Morristown on a voice vote. The companion bill passed the full Senate on a 26-7 vote last month.

The measure has advanced despite the misgivings of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who as Knoxville mayor in 2009 supported a city council vote that kept in place a ban on handguns in some of the city's parks.

Audience members who wore red shirts to signal their opposition to the bill booed and hissed after the panel advanced the measure to the full committee.

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