Haslam: Legislators should review ‘guns in parks’

From Richard Locker:
Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday lawmakers should review the guns-in-parks law they approved in April in the wake of an attorney general’s opinion that said cities, counties and third-party contractors cannot ban permit-holders from going armed in paid, ticketed events like concerts and other events in local parks.

“I think that’s a really good example of something that I would urge the Legislature to go back and say, are there specific situations — now that you have the attorney general’s opinion — that you want to provide clarity to,” the governor told reporters.

Haslam declined to be drawn into a discussion about Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s remarks, in the wake of the fatal shooting of a Memphis police officer Saturday night, that there are too many guns on the streets. Asked about the mayor’s remarks, the governor said, “I think we’ll wait. My reaction always when there’s an incident like this is, rather than react in the heat of it, let’s go back and look and see — where was the weapon that used to murder the police officer? Where was it obtained? Was it obtained legally or not?

“Lets go back and look through all that. If people are doing things illegally, it doesn’t matter the law we set up. They’re going to find their way around that. Like we’ve done in several of these other tragic situations, let’s drill down and see exactly what happened,” he said.

The state Legislature approved a bill in April abolishing the authority of municipal and county governments to ban handgun-carry permit-holders from carry guns in locally owned and operated parks under their control. When Haslam signed the bill into law on April 24, he wrote a letter to legislative leaders saying, “I am concerned that an unintended consequence may be operational challenges for local leaders in managing their parks in a safe, effective and consistent manner, due to events and situations that could not have been anticipated in drafting this law.”