Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tennessee passes park carry, states rights gun bills

From the New York Times, who in typical fashion bemoans the passage of these pro-gun rights bills:
Cities and counties across Tennessee are preparing this week to deal with the fallout from a raft of pro-gun bills recently signed into law in the state, where Republicans are flexing their new-found strength in the legislature.

Among the new laws is one that would allow people who have gun permits to carry guns in all public parks in the state. Another would exempt from federal regulation guns and ammunition made in Tennessee and kept within its borders.

The measure with the most immediate impact may be the guns-in-parks law. Cities and towns have the chance to opt out of it by Sept. 1 and are beginning debate now about whether to do so. The City of Nashville is scheduled to start hearings on Tuesday.

The measure allowing guns in state parks went into effect Friday and will probably go into effect in national parks starting in February. It applies to the 220,000 Tennesseans who hold gun permits as well as visitors from other states with valid permits.

The law exempting Tennessee from federal gun regulations, while having little immediate effect, may have broader implications down the road. It comes as part of a states’-rights movement that tries to test the limits of federal power. The Tennessee bill is nearly identical to one signed into law in Montana and similar to ones under consideration in other states. Since Montana’s law does not take effect until Oct. 1, the one in Tennessee, which takes effect July 1, could become the first test case in the courts.

“The purpose of this bill is to let people know we have state sovereignty and the federal government has no business telling us what to do,” State Senator Mae Beavers, a Mount Juliet Republican who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. ...

Article here. Notice the Times reporter's choice of wording in its opening sentence, that municipalities are "preparing ... to deal with the fallout" caused by these bills passing, as if expanding the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves in parks, and the assertion of states rights to manage their own affairs, are bad things.

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