Tag Archives: armed

‘Knife Rights’ Bill Clears Senate, 27-3

The Senate has approved and sent to the House a bill rewriting Tennessee’s knife laws to eliminate a prohibition against switchblades and to assure that knives with blades longer than four inches can be carried for self-protection.
Current law makes possession of a switchblade a misdemeanor crime. Carrying a knife with a blade over four inches in length can be a felony if “for the purpose of going armed.”
Sen. Mike Bell, sponsor of SB1015, says that carrying a knife for self-defense meets that definition, though current law also says a longer knife can be legally used while hunting, fishing, camping and for “other lawful activity,” a phrase not legally defined. The bill repeals that provision and basically says all knives are legal in Tennessee.
The bill also prohibits city and county governments from enacting knife ordinances that would conflict with the new state knife statute. There are many local knife laws now and they widely from place to place, Bell said.
The overall result, Bell said, is confusion that has led national retailers to refuse to send knives with blades longer than four inches through the mail to Tennesseans, concerned that “a UPS deliveryman could be charged with carrying a knife for the purpose of going armed.”

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More TN Views & News on Armed Guards in Schools

Congressmen Mostly Quiet, TN Cost Estimated
Nooga.com asked U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, as well as U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais and Chuck Fleischman, whether they agreed with the NRA’s call for armed guards in all schools. All have taken campaign contributions from the NRA. (Full story HERE.)
Corker and DesJarlais didn’t respond .Fleischmann’s response didn’t address the question. Alexander did, sort of. Excerpts:
Asked to comment on LaPierre’s remarks Friday, Fleischmann, who boasted his NRA endorsement in television advertisements for his most recent campaign, voiced neither support nor disagreement.
“As a father, the events in Connecticut break my heart,” Fleischmann said in an emailed statement. “Children are our greatest treasure, and we need to ensure their safety, particularly in a school environment. No student should ever have to be afraid of going to school. Brenda and I send our prayers to the victims and their families.”
Fleischmann accepted $2,000 in NRA contributions this year.
…On Friday, Alexander indicated that congressional action would not be able to ensure student safety, as LaPierre suggested. The senator added his hope that school systems at the local level would be reviewing their current safety measures in the wake of the shooting.
“Washington can’t make school safe, but parents, communities and teachers can,” Alexander said in an emailed statement. “In light of the tragedy at Newtown, I would think every local school board would be thinking about whether they need to take additional steps to make their schools safe from guns and other acts of violence.”
Were the gun lobby’s call to gain traction, Congress would be tasked with providing funding for at least one armed guard in each of the nation’s 98,817 public schools–1,803 of which are in Tennessee.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, the annual mean wage for a security guard at elementary and secondary schools is $31,420, making a rough estimate of the cost of equipping schools with armed guards more than $3 billion nationally–and more than $56 million statewide.


Haslam Thoughts on Video
TNReport has a video of Gov. Bill Haslam’s comments on the subject (previous post HERE), wherein he voices misgivings. “I know a whole lot of teachers who wouldn’t want to be armed,” he said – including his daughter, a 2nd grade teacher. But he thinks there should be a discussion of causes of “mass violence” in schools and elsewhere.
Cookeville Police Chief: Two Officers in Every School, Every Day
Each morning this week, Cookeville Police officers have driven through the parking lots at all city schools, hoping to help students, teachers, and parents feel a little bit safe, reports the Herald-Citizen..
And Police Chief Bob Terry is talking about a giant leap in school security here, an idea that he knows would cost taxpayers quite a chunk of money, but would be worth it if the horror that happened in Connecticut ever occurred here.
He would like to see two trained police officers assigned to work in each school in this county every day.
“The county has only one School Resource officer in each of the three high schools, but in today’s world, I would like to see much more security in all our schools,” Chief Terry said.
“I know it would cost us, and I am a taxpayer too. But just think about this: you can’t walk into courthouses carrying a gun, you can’t walk into a police station carrying a gun unless you are an officer, you can’t walk into many places without going through several kinds of security measures. But anyone can just walk into our schools.”

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Harwell Against, Haslam Unsure on Teachers With Guns Proposals

House Speaker Beth Harwell said Wednesday she doesn’t believe allowing Tennessee teachers to go armed is the right answer to last week’s massacre of elementary schoolchildren in Connecticut, reports Action Andy Sher.
“I think it would be asking way too much of our teachers for them to be armed in a classroom, and I’m not in favor of going down that route,” Harwell, R-Nashville, told reporters. “I really think you really have to be highly qualified to handle a gun in a high-stress situation, which is in fact what that was.”
A day earlier, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam also raised questions, asking, “What if the teacher doesn’t want to be armed? … There’s just a lot of questions about that to me in terms of how that would work.”
In recent days, two East Tennessee Republican lawmakers have advocated allowing teachers or school staffers to be trained and armed.
In a blog posting, Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, said he “will be bringing back legislation to allow licensed and checked faculty and staff, at schools, to be able to have a gun on campus if a safety officer is not present on campus.”
Newly elected Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, has said he is interested in putting law enforcement officers in schools or having “similarly trained” teachers or staffers in schools.
Harwell said she was stating her “personal opinion” and doesn’t know what her GOP colleagues’ thinking is.
But since Friday’s schoolhouse killing of 20 children and six adults by a lone gunman, Harwell noted, “certainly we’ve realized we need additional security in our schools and unfortunately that’s a really sad commentary on our society.”
Asked whether the state should help pay for school resource officers, Harwell said, “I’m not proposing any legislation to that regard. I’m just speaking my personal opinion.”
She said “many times that’s a local decision” to have armed law enforcement on hand at schools.
Haslam told reporters Tuesday that when he was Knoxville mayor, local governments provided money for resource officers in most if not all schools.
“Ultimately that feels more like a local decision than a state decision to me,” Haslam said.