Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Senate passes handguns-in-parks bill

May 19, 2009 People with handgun carry permits could bring their weapons into all state and local parks in Tennessee, under a bill the Senate passed on Monday. The measure sponsored by Republican Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet was approved on a 24-8 vote. The bill would allow permit holders to carry handguns in all local parks, unless local governments specifically vote to ban them. "The point of this bill is to give law-abiding and responsible permit holders a fighting chance when confronted by a rapist or a murderer while within a local or state park," Beavers said. Under a previous version passed by the House, local governments would have to vote specifically to allow handguns to be carried in parks. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis disagreed with imposing the handgun carry law on local governments. "It would seem to me that we as state legislators should concern ourselves with matters of state property and that local governments should handle local matters," he said. The two chambers will have to work out the differences before the bill can head for the governor's consideration. — ASSOCIATED PRESSinfo@ap.org

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