'Guns-in-parks' opponents speak out against TN bill - WSMV News 4

'Guns-in-parks' opponents speak out against TN bill

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A group of mothers has joined the debate over a controversial bill at the state capitol that addresses whether local governments have the power to ban firearms in their own public parks.

Some consider this issue simply one of Second Amendment rights, while some consider it a danger to safety in public parks.

"We do not need this legislation. No one except for the carry-permit holders want this bill," said Kathleen Wright, with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The organization made a push Friday for state lawmakers to defeat the so-called "guns-in-parks" bill.

Next week, the House will take up the proposed legislation, which would strip local governments of their current right to opt-out of allowing guns in parks that became law in 2009.

"What we don't want is for our children's safety to get lost in partisan bickering and campaign politics," said Metro Councilwoman Megan Barry.

The bill already passed in the Senate pretty convincingly in spite of the opposition of many local mayors statewide.

Barry and fellow Metro Councilman At-Large Jerry Maynard also spoke out against the bill Friday, along with retired Metro Police Commander Robert Nash.

"There's an old Johnny Cash tune that talks about, 'Don't take your guns to town. Leave your guns at home.' Permit holders, I'm telling you: there's a proper place to take your weapons, and there are places where you don't need to be taking your weapons. Leave your guns at home when you go to the park," Nash said.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean opposes the bill, and so does the governor, who holds veto power if the bill makes it to his desk.

Still, the Senate sponsor, State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, has previously said supporters may very well have the votes to override the governor's veto.

The bill is up in a House Subcommittee on Wednesday.

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