NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam said he still has concerns about a legislative effort by fellow Republicans to strip local governments of their ability to ban guns at local parks and ball fields.
The governor, a former Knoxville mayor, said Thursday that for him it boils down to property rights instead of the Second Amendment.
“City councils and county commissions have said, ‘OK, our taxpayers have paid for that park,’ and their elected representatives, I think, should get to decide what happens in the parks,” the governor told reporters following a jobs announcement news conference in Dickson.
"To me," Haslam said, "it’s not a Second Amendment right. It’s the same right anybody should have with a property they control."
The governor, however, who previously has said he has "major concerns" with the bill, stopped short of threatening a veto, saying, “we’ll have to see once it winds its way to me.”
Earlier this week, House Civil Justice Subcommittee members advanced the bill, which would apply to persons with state-issued handgun carry permits. Last month, the Senate approved the bill on a 26-7 vote.
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, ...