Here is a follow up to yesterday’s post on the proposed law to allow open carry of firearms in Tennessee. Currently, T.C.A 39-17-1307 makes it illegal to carry a handgun at a place open to the public where one or more persons are present. It is currently a Class A misdemeanor and a punishment of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. The new law will repeal this law.
Why is this law a terrible idea? Can you imagine the chilling effect to Nashville tourism. People walking the streets of lower Broadway "packing heat." It is not a sight that makes people come to Nashville. How about Memphis in May? Imagine Beale Street with "a few guns" around?
Gun rights must be balanced with common sense about public safety. All bills must have a fiscal note or how much a bill will cost the State to enact the law. Has the Tennessee Senate thought about lost sales tax revenue from people not visiting Nashville?
I just do not see a problem with the current handgun carry permit law that is now in effect. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unless your trying to get campaign donations from the gun lobbyists.