NRA backs lawsuit against Knoxville gun ban

Loudon County resident Pandora Vreeland is suing Knoxville over the city’s decision to ban guns at Chilhowee Park during the Tennessee Valley Fair, reports the News Sentinel.

The National Rifle Association is backing the suit, filed Wednesday morning in Knox County Circuit Court. It seeks to overturn the ban.

“The Mayor and city of Knoxville are in clear violation of Tennessee law,” said Lacey Biles, director of NRA State and Local Affairs. “The 5 million members of the NRA stand in full support of the plaintiff and look forward to a positive resolution.”

Nashville attorney Lela Hollabaugh is representing Vreeland.

“We believe state law is clear and Knoxville is violating that law with regard to Chilhowee Park. We hope to have the issue addressed in court soon,” Hollabaugh said.

The Tennessee Firearms Association has stated its intention to file suit following the decision by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero to ban guns from Chilhowee during the fair. That suit has not been filed yet.

The conflict stems from a law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam in April that allows handgun carry permit holders to bring their gun into parks. After several lawmakers questioned whether the law applied to event centers, an opinion issued by the attorney general’s office in July said the law applied to most municipally owned recreational venues.

Rogero disagreed, saying Chilhowee Park was not a park as defined under the law. She has stated her desire for the Legislature to provide clarity on the issue.