Democrats are criticizing Gov. Bill Haslam for signing the guns-in-parks bill, reports the Times-Free Press, including a tweet from House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, R-Ripley:
“Not vetoing #GunsInParks is an absolute failure of leadership.”
“All along the governor says one thing and then turns around and does another,” charged Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis, in an interview. “And that’s just politics at its worst in my view. That’s what politicians do. And this on the face of it appears to be kind of cave in to the special interest groups, the NRA.”
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton was not as harsh in a long statement included at the end of the Commercial Appeal story on Haslam signing the bill. An excerpt:
“I’m disappointed in the legislation. I can understand precisely what the governor did: It would probably create a greater head of steam had he vetoed it. They (lawmakers) would have pulled right back together and did an override on the veto. But I’m very interested in what he said: It’s one thing to sign it but then look at it when it gets down to the local level, how do you operationalize it?
…Here’s what I worry about at the local level: Once someone is shot by somebody . . . in a park, they’re going to blame the police department. You know why? They’re going to say, your officer saw that man come in here with that automatic gun, yet your officer didn’t really watch him. If my officer watches him and he happens to be a black guy, guess what that officer just did. Profiling. How are we going to operationalize that, because we’ve got this law up here now out of the state about disproportionate minority contact.