Wednesday, June 3, 2009

House Votes To Override Governor's Gun Bill Veto

News Channel 5 NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee House of Representatives has voted to overturn Gov. Phil Bredesen's veto of the bill that would allow handguns to be carried in bars and restaurants where alcohol is served. The 69 to 27 vote came down Wednesday afternoon. A simple majority was needed to override the governor. The override was anticipated after the Democratic governor's veto message was read to the House on Monday night. Republican Rep. Curry Todd of Germantown responded Monday night to the message from the well of the chamber: "I want to tell you what the governor can do with that piece of paper he just sent." Todd said he felt blind-sided by the governor's announcement last week that he would veto what the House passed. He said the governor showed a lack of courtesy by not giving advance notice last week of a veto ceremony featuring law enforcement officers and prosecutors from around the state. "He has no courtesy for us as members of the General Assembly to have the decency to let us know, as sponsors of the bill what was going on," Todd said. Bredesen told reporters that he wouldn't be "even faintly surprised" if the legislature overrides his veto, but he "hoped they will think about it again, and I pray if this happens there will not be some sort of tragedy in our state," Bredesen said. The measure easily passed in the House and Senate before Bredesen's veto. The bill essentially would allow the 200,000 gun-permit carry owners in Tennessee the right to carry their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve liquor and beer. "The folks that respect the law, the ones who have the right to carry, they are going to respect the law. They are not going to carry their guns in and drink alcohol," said Sen. Jim Tracy. When Bredesen announced he was vetoing the legislation last week he was surrounded by Metro police officers. "Where's the data that suddenly says O'Charley's is dangerous? Where's the data that says I can't go to Burger King unless I am packing some heat? Where is the support for all of that?" said Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas. Now that lawmakers from the House vote to override the governor's veto, the Senate will vote on Thursday. At the same time, many have been wondering what the governor will do about a bill that allows guns in parks. "If he is going to be consistent when it comes to public safety, then he will veto it. Somebody has got to man up and tell the NRA that they don't run the state of Tennessee," said Rep. G.A. Hardaway. The governor has until next Friday to decide if he will veto the guns in parks legislation or not. At this point the governor has not given any sense of exactly what he would do. The Senate will vote on the issue on Thursday. If Senators overrides the veto - the will law take effect immediately.

No comments: