NASHVILLE - A proposal that seeks to do away with local government's power to decide whether to allow firearms in public parks advanced to a full Senate vote on Tuesday despite opposition from the governor.
The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 6-2.
The Legislature in 2009 gave city and county governments the ability to opt out of a new law that allowed firearms in public parks, playgrounds and sports fields.
Under Campfield's proposal, permit holders would be allowed to carry, unless there's a school function.
"There have been multiple rapes in our parks," Campfield said. "Someone should be able to defend themselves ... no matter where they are."
A representative from Bill Haslam's office reiterated Tuesday that the Republican governor is against the legislation. Haslam told reporters last week that he has "major concerns" about the proposal.
When Haslam was Knoxville mayor, he supported a 2009 city council vote that kept in place a ban on handguns in some of the city's parks.
"I have a concern about that in the sense of I think if that property belongs to local governments then their locally elected officials should be able to decide what happens to that property," Haslam said last week.