Nashville officials reject AG opinion, ban guns at some facilities

Despite a recent state attorney general’s opinion, Metro Nashville officials said Thursday they still plan to ban guns at city-owned Nissan Stadium and Bridgestone Arena, reports The Tennessean.

“Guns are not permitted in those facilities, that’s absolutely clear. I want to make sure everybody understands that,” Metro Law Director Saul Solomon said Thursday.

“The attorney general’s opinion is just that: It’s an opinion of the attorney general. It has no force of law.”

Metro is banning guns at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville too, while Franklin officials plan to ban guns at the upcoming Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival

Solomon and Metro Sports Authority Executive Director Toby Compton joined officials from Franklin, Memphis and around the state in a roundtable discussion Thursday at the state Capitol about the new guns-in-parks law. Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis, and Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, created the event to discuss the new law, opinion from the attorney general and the potential ramifications both will have on events at parks or publicly owned venues around the state.

…On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, said he isn’t sure Tennessee needs any more gun bills at all during the upcoming legislative session. House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, voted against the law this year, but said she’d have to look over any proposed exemption to the law before she’d support changes.

“I understand Metro’s concerns. You know, I don’t take lightly going against an AG’s opinion, though,” Harwell said Thursday.

“It’s a tough position for our city to be in, and I’m sorry we’re in this position.”

Others who attended Thursday’s event spoke against easing restrictions on guns in general. That includes gun-control organizations such as the Safe Tennessee Project, but also the Tennessee Sheriffs Association and Kevin Wilson, senior vice president of business affairs for the Country Music Association. No organizations with opposite views, such as the National Rifle Association, participated in the event.