Nashville’s Top State Rep. Is OK With State Overriding Metro’s Ban On Guns In Parks

House Speaker Beth Harwell spoke Thursday alongside Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, who underscored the point that the measure would only allow people with handgun-carry permits to bring their weapons into parks. Several hundred thousand such permits have been issued in Tennessee. (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

House Speaker Beth Harwell spoke Thursday alongside Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, who underscored the point that the measure would only allow people with handgun-carry permits to bring their weapons into parks. Several hundred thousand such permits have been issued in Tennessee. (Photo: Daniel Potter/WPLN)

Nashville Republican Beth Harwell is defending a proposal to override cities in Tennessee that have bans on guns in local parks.  Harwell is the speaker of the state House of Representatives, and the bill comes over the objections of Nashville’s mayor.

Harwell argues people with handgun permits ought to be able to carry inside parks, while acknowledging some representatives have voiced concerns to her:

“They’re worried about children in these local parks, so I think there might be an amendment to address the fact that the park is used by children or has childrens’ facilities there.”

The bill is opposed by several big city mayors, including not just Nashville but also Knoxville, Memphis and Chattanooga.  Harwell says the decision should be up to the state.  And she expects lawmakers will hear the bill on the House floor this spring.

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