NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today condemned the passage of House Bill 995, legislation that would force all Tennessee towns and cities to allow guns in their parks and recreation areas and urged Governor Haslam to veto the bill. HB 995 would eliminate local officials’ authority to make public safety decisions aimed at protecting Tennessee families and children from gun violence.
Just last week, hundreds of gun safety advocates and gun violence survivors joined on the sidelines of the 144th National Rifle Association Annual Meeting at Riverfront Park to rally for safer gun laws and oppose dangerous gun bills around the country – including HB 995. Guns in Tennessee parks was originally proposed to take effect in time for the 2015 Annual Meeting – but it ran into major hurdles and the gun lobby couldn’t pass it in time. Meanwhile, efforts to pass other NRA-backed bills in Tennessee have failed – including bills that would have put guns in K-12 schools and legislation that would have removed all permitting and training requirements to carry a gun in public.
STATEMENT FROM KATHLEEN CHANDLER WRIGHT, A VOLUNTEER LEADER FOR THE TENNESSEE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION:
“Like all parents, my top priority is my child’s safety and we know that public safety is a top priority for Governor Haslam. But, if HB 995 becomes law, it would strip local leaders of their authority to decide whether to allow guns in our parks, putting some of Tennessee’s most sensitive areas at risk. Gun lobby-backed legislators are attempting to pull the wool over our eyes with a confusing – and completely unenforceable – buffer zone for school events, but moms in Tennessee won’t be fooled: this bill will put guns in the same place where our kids play. If HB 995 were to become law – parents will be left wondering whether the person next to their child on the swing set or at an after-school baseball game is carrying a concealed, loaded weapon. This dangerous bill would endanger our children throughout the state. That’s why Tennessee Moms and our more than 47,000 supporters in the state are asking Governor Haslam to stand up for our kids’ safety and veto this bill.”