Man cited for having gun in Germantown park - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man cited for having gun in Germantown park

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC-TV) - Police in Germantown have cited a Memphis man for having a gun in a city park. 

According to police, 48-year-old John Lee Parker was fishing in Johnson Road Park when he got into an argument with someone playing Frisbee golf.  Someone called police when Parker was seen walking to his pickup truck,  strapping on a pistol, and then going back to fishing.

Police said Parker didn't threaten anyone, but was in violation of having a firearm in a park.

"He did have his handgun on his person at the time we were out there," Germantown Police Department Deputy Chief Rodney Bright said. "We issued him a city summons for that violation."

By phone, Parker told Action News 5's Nick Kenney he didn't realize he couldn't a gun in Johnson Road Park.

Germantown opted out of a state law allowing people with pistol permits to carry weapons in local parks.  About 70 cities or counties have opted out of the statute, which went into effect in September, creating a patchwork of parks across Tennessee where weapons are not allowed.

In Germantown, a small sign at the entrance to Johnson Road Park outlines the maximum penalty for carrying a gun inside: a $2,500 fine and 11 months, 29 days in jail.

"They just need to leave their weapons at home when they come to our parks," Bright said.

Parker said, as far as he's concerned, the citation is not a big deal.  He's scheduled to appear in Germantown City Court on November 18.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The AP contributed to this story.

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