Bredesen Signs ‘Guns in Parks,’ Urges Locals to Opt Out

Gov. Phil Bredesen on Friday signed a bill that will allow persons holding handgun carry permits to take their weapons into state, local and national parks.
The move came after a tentative arrangement with sponsors of HB716 fell through. Under the proposed deal, the sponsors would recall the bill from the governor’s desk and amend it to remove provisions dealing with local parks.
Republican Sen. Mae Beavers said earlier Friday that “the deal is off” and said an override would be attempted if Bredesen vetoed the measure.
Instead, the governor chose to sign the bill into law. In a letter sent to the House and Senate speakers, the governor said:
“I continue to have concerns about the inclusion of local parks in this bill. The suggestion made by the sponsor to remove these local parks was good and I am sorry he withdrew it.
“I do want to urge local governments to use the opt-out provisions of this bill to remove parks from its effect where they are located close to schools and other places where large numbers of children gather.”
Bredesen also Friday allowed HB1796, entitled “the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act,” to become law without his signature.
In a message to the speakers, Bredesen said the bill “is not about firearms.
“It represents a fringe constitutional theory that I believe will be quickly dispensed with by the federal courts,” Bredesen wrote.
The bill, also sponsored by Beavers, declares that any firearms manufactured within the state and stamped “made in Tennessee” can be bought and sold without complying with federal firearms laws.

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