Tenn. Reps Propose Concerts Gun Ban

A newly proposed bill in Tennessee would help make it easier for organizers to keep some events gun-free.

Tennessee struck down local bans on permitted individuals bringing guns into parks and recreational facilities earlier this year.

The new bill, sponsored by State Senate Majority Leader Lee Harris and Rep. John Ray Clemmons, would create an exemption to that law for concerts or professional sports and other events.

“Allowing guns in areas with large crowds where alcohol is consumed is a recipe for disaster, and creates a grave danger for law enforcement officers, who might not be able to distinguish friendlies with a gun from criminals,” Harris said in a statement to the Tennesseean.

The paper noted the current law raises questions as to whether fans with permits could bring guns into Nashville’s  or , which are both owned by the city.

Nashville officials reportedly plan to pass a ban prohibiting guns at public concerts and professional sporting events this fall.

But a July 29 opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery supports the current law and even appears to extend its reach, noting “since a county or municipality no longer has the authority to prohibit handgun carry permit holders from possessing handguns in public parks and other recreational facilities, a county or municipality cannot convey or delegate any such authority to anyone else, either directly or indirectly.”

The next regular session of Tennessee’s General Assembly begins in January.