Tennessee’s guns-in-parks bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday 27-6, but an added amendment sent the bill back to a House vote before it can be signed by the governor.
CBS affiliate, WREG reports that House bill 995 — which will allow handgun-carry permit holders to carry in local parks — approved a House vote on Monday without debate. On Wednesday, the state Senate furthered the bill, but added a new clause that would also make it legal to carry a gun into the state capitol building. Because of the added measure however, the bill must be voted on again before Gov. Bill Haslam can sign it as law.
The new amendment to the bill allows permit holders to carry guns into the Tennessee State Capitol, Legislative Plaza and War Memorial Building, where guns are currently banned. According to the Commercial Appeal, the gun ban in those buildings has created long lines of security check points and metal detectors for those using the offices.
Currently, Tennessee allows gun permit holders to carry in public, but in several local governments throughout the state there are restrictions for carrying in public parks, playgrounds and civic centers. If the bill is passed these restrictions will be nullified.
State Rep. Mike Harrison, who voted in favor of the bill, told WREG that “[a]fter talking to especially some females in my district, they feel safer, especially going to some natural trails in parks, if they have a weapon.”
Gov. Haslam has not shown his hand as to whether he will approve or veto the bill, according to the Commercial Appeal. However, Haslem has expressed concern with guns being carried in parks and greenways that border schools.