Senator aims to clarify language in guns in parks law

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Those of you headed to Predators or Titans games were the focus of at least one bill on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill on Tuesday as lawmakers try to finish their session.

It involves those with a handgun permit carrying their weapons into stadiums or arenas.

More than 17,000 people pack into Bridgestone Arena for Preds games or concerts, and nearly 70,000 fill Nissan Stadium.

But allowing properly permitted handguns there grew into an issue two years ago when state lawmakers allowed those weapons in public parks.

“There was an attorney general’s opinion that came out that opened the door to, frankly, handgun permit holders to carry at Bridgestone Arena and Nissan Stadium, which was not our intent,” said Sen. John Stevens.

Senator Stevens, who sponsored the guns in parks bill, says he has always believed that if government doesn’t protect, you have to protect yourself, but the lawmaker says Nashville’s pro teams are doing that.

“You get wanded. They check your bag. They are providing protection for you, so the need to carry a handgun is not there,” he said.

So his bill before lawmakers makes clear that along with public places like Bridgestone or Nissan, many other public facilities are exempted, such as schools, libraries and courthouses.

It means trying to settle a lot of the issues up here on Capitol Hill about where you can carry a properly permitted handgun.

Lawmakers are expected to finish their four-month session either later Tuesday or, more likely, Wednesday.