From the Chattanooga Times-Free Press:
Add Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke to the list of Tennessee’s “Big Four” city mayors opposing a bill in the Legislature that seeks to strip local governments of their power to keep firearms out of public parks.
Berke, a former Democratic state senator, on Wednesday joined mayors of Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis in objecting to the legislation sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville.
“When I was in the Legislature a central part of what I fought for was local control,” said Berke, who was elected mayor last year. “This gives people the chance to decide what’s best in their own community. By taking away that right, the state Legislature would be saying there’s only one way to do that and Nashville knows that way.”
The bill was cleared for Senate floor action after a 6-2 vote Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill seeks to end city and county governments’ ability to opt out of a 2009 law allowing firearms in public parks, playgrounds and ball fields.
It says handgun-carry permit holders can bring their firearms to any of those areas unless there’s a school function. Campfield argued that local policies are confusing, even within the same park, where a person with a permit might be allowed to carry on trails but banned from going armed at a nearby ball field.
Full story HERE.