Amended guns in parks bill allows for weapons at state capitol

Gun Rights, Laws Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The controversial guns in parks bill at the Tennessee legislature added another controversy Wednesday morning by allowing for permit holders to carry their weapons at the state capitol.

It came in the Senate which amended the guns in parks bill that was passed Monday night in the House.

The measure now goes back to the House for approval where Republican Caucus Chair Glen Casada first predicted “it will pass 60-39.”

A few hours later, he told News 2 that allowing guns at the capitol would add a cost to the measure that would “kill the bill,” so while supportive of the concept, he would not go along with Wednesday’s Senate version.

The Republican-dominated Senate added the provision allowing guns at the capitol after it was proposed by Nashville Democrat Jeff Yarbro.

Yarbro said he wanted to make a point, showing the “hypocrisy” of allowing guns in parks and asking why not the state capitol?

Most of the Senate then decided it would go along with the change.

It was the only amendment added to the original bill that removed any local prohibitions against permit holders carrying their guns in parks.

Rep. Casada said the amended version of the bill is likely to come up on Monday.

News 2 spoke with Kevin Cover, who took his family to visit the Tennessee State Capitol on Wednesday. Cover, a concealed carry permit holder, doesn’t think the state capitol is an appropriate place for guns.

“I don’t think it’d be a wise decision,” he said. “You might have someone bring one in, that shouldn’t be carrying one to begin with, and shoot up a building like this.”

Gov. Bill Haslam’s office issued a statement saying it was “very concerned” about the legislation.

The bill has been “flagged” for a possible veto by the governor.

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