Monday, August 17, 2009

Nashville restaurateur seeks quick ruling on guns lawsuit

DAVIDSON COUNTY A Nashville restaurant owner plans to ask today for a quick decision in his lawsuit challenging the new state law that allows guns in restaurants and bars. Randy Rayburn, who owns Sunset Grill, Midtown Cafe and Cabana, and his fellow plaintiffs will file a motion in Davidson County Chancery Court seeking summary judgment in the case, attorney David Randolph Smith said Friday. Smith said the law, which took effect last month, creates unsafe workplaces, violating federal occupational safety and health laws. "We're moving for summary judgment on the idea that state law is pre-empted by OSHA," he said. The plaintiffs also are arguing that the law is unconstitutionally vague, creating confusion for police officers, restaurant owners and gun owners, and that it illegally delegates police powers to restaurant owners, who have to post signs if they want to ban guns on their premises. Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman denied the plaintiffs' request last month for an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect. But Bonnyman said she saw potential in some of their legal claims and ordered that the case be heard by mid-October. Smith said the state would have at least 30 days to respond to the summary judgment motion before Bonnyman would hold a hearing on it.

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