NASHVILLE, January 29, 2014– The Tennessee Firearms Association today expressed disappointment in what they call “Governor Bill Haslam’s (R) continuing anti-Second Amendment rhetoric” regarding an upcoming guns-in-parks bill pending in the Tennessee legislature.
“The fact that Governor Haslam is aligning himself with liberal Democrats such as Nashville Mayor Karl Dean on this issue is troubling” said Tennessee Firearms Association Executive Director John Harris. “But this should come as no surprise given Governor Haslam’s record of being against the rights of law abiding gun owners and more consistently siding with Mayor Bloomberg’s fights oppressing basic human rights.”
In 2009, Haslam supported a ban on handguns in city parks while serving as Mayor of Knoxville. He was also a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun coalition, curiously misnamed Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Haslam only withdrew from public support of Mayor Bloomberg’s attack on the 2nd Amendment just prior to announcing his run for the office of governor in Tennessee, which was about the same time that he suddenly became an NRA member.
When he ran for Governor, Haslam promised the Tennessee Firearms Association’s members in an open, video taped meeting that he was very supportive of the Second Amendment. He further announced at that video taped meeting that he would even sign a “constitutional carry” law into effect if he became governor. Looking back, however, Haslam has not asked that a constitutional carry bill be passed nor has he generally been viewed as being even remotely supportive of Second Amendment initiatives.
Senate Bill 1496, (SB1496) which comes up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, would restore Second Amendment protections to permit holders in all city and county parks, including all local greenways, in Tennessee. The result would be that handgun permit holders would be able to carry without fear of criminal prosecution in all federal, state and local parks in Tennessee.
However, Haslam has made recent comments concerning the bill showing his opposition to removing the local government infringements of the Second Amendment in city and county parks for individuals who can legally carry firearms.
(Tennessee Firearms Press Release)