New bill could override city ordinance prohibiting guns in parks

New bill could override city ordinance prohibiting guns in parks

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Mothers and fathers could soon be allowed to tote their guns when taking their kids to parks in Tennessee. It's a bill that failed time and time again, but could soon become a state law.

The "guns in parks bill" passed in the Senate last year, but failed in the House. It's one of about a dozen gun bills now moving through the Legislature. Passing the bill would prohibit local governments from banning guns in parks.

"I think that's a pretty crazy idea to tell you the truth," said park-goer Roger Bransford. "Go to the shooting range if that's your thing."

State law currently allows permit holders to carry in parks, but a 2009 city ordinance prohibits firearms in Memphis public parks, playgrounds, civic centers, and other public recreational buildings and grounds.

"Those who do have their handgun carrying permits typically follow the law to the letter," said Accent Guns and Loans General Manager Will Bass.

When it comes to businesses, you can find out where guns are allowed and not allowed with the new Gun Free Zone app that uses GPS to pinpoint the businesses around you and their policies.

"I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it," Bass explained.

Right now, cities and counties have the right to override the state law that allows guns to be carried in parks by permit holders. If the new bill passes, then the state law would prevail.

"You're always going to have people out there who don't follow the laws and those are the ones you typically have to worry about," Bass said.

"Well, if you're that afraid of the park, maybe you shouldn't come here," Bransford added.

Meanwhile, several other gun bills have been filed this session. One bill would allow guns in a locked car on school grounds. Another would authorize lawsuits against employers who punish employees for having a gun in their personal vehicles. Yet another bill would allow federally registered machine guns, sawed-off shotguns or silencers.

With the current Republican super majority in the Legislature, lawmakers think gun bills that failed in years past have a big chance to pass this time around.

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