Wednesday August 5th, 2015

The interpretation of a gun law by the Tennessee Attorney General may allow fans to bring guns into professional sporting events, according to a report from The Tennessean

Earlier this year, the Tennessee government passed a law allowing gun-owners with a valid concealed carry permit to take their weapon to a public park, overruling any local laws which banned guns in parks. 

In his opinion on the law, Attorney General Herbert Slatery said the state law prevents municipalities banning guns themselves or allowing third parties to do the same.

"By its plain terms, as amended, (the law) applies to all parks and all other recreational facilities that are owned or operated by a county or municipality. County or municipal ownership is all that is needed to bring the property within the scope of the statute," Slatery wrote in his opinion.

Nissan Stadium, Bridgestone Arena and the FedEx Forum, homes of the Titans, Predators and Grizzlies, respectively, are all county or municipality owned facilities operated by third parties. 

According to lawyer Junaid Odubeko, who worked for a former Tennessee governor, the Attorney General's interpretation of the law seems to leave room for permit-holders to bring guns into these venues, even if guns are banned by the leagues or teams.

"If they had a policy saying that you could not have a handgun inside Nissan Stadium, I think there certainly appears to be a conflict there between that hypothetical policy and how the AG interprets the law," Odubeko said. "There certainly appears to be a conflict."

- Rohan Nadkarni

 

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