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Thread: Park carry okay with a license?

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Park carry okay with a license?

    I've read the TN law summary at HandGunlaw.us (http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/tennessee.pdf), which says that park carry is okay with a license (39-17-1311), but in 39-17-1314 it says the following:

    Local Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition Preempted By State Regulation -- ActionsAgainst Firearms or Ammunition Manufacturers, Trade Associations Or Dealers. (a) Except as provided in 39-17-1311(d), which allows counties and municipalities to prohibit thepossession of handguns while within or on a public park, natural area, historic park, nature trail,campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by a county,a municipality or instrumentality thereof, no city, county, or metropolitan government shall occupy any partof the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition orcomponents of firearms or combinations thereof; provided, that this section shall be prospective only andshall not affect the validity of any ordinance or resolution lawfully enacted before April 8, 1986.

    (my emphasis)

    So... my question is this: does TN have full preemption of local laws against park carry, or not? A related question, if the answer is "NO" - how in the world is one supposed to be able to tell?

    I will be visiting Nashville in the near future and intend to open carry.

    Thanks in advance for input/replies.

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    I think you have answered your own question there....... what you bolded is, in my opinion, the relevant text of the law. The April 8 grandfathering of the local prohibitions (if any) is what will trip you up so you need to research city ordinance to find out if there is actually anything in place for that location. Yep, a huge pain in the axx. Gotta love it don't ya! Here in Knoxville there are such parks with bans in place and you best know which ones they are....... and I am still not quite sure about which ones they are. I just don't get why our benevolent rulers wont go along with full state preemption to make the carry laws the same across the state. Good luck in your further research.

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    I guess I should add that in spite of the quirks in TN carry laws its usually a non issue to openly carry. The LEO's are fairly well versed in the law and TN is quite accepting of firearms and the good folks who carry them. I have never had an issue. Look through the TN forums for experiences. Be aware too that signs have the weight of law here so any establishment that's posted is off limits, and in Nashville there are quite a few so before you enter a place look real good for a gun buster sign. Now...... go have fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    I've read the TN law summary at HandGunlaw.us (http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/tennessee.pdf), which says that park carry is okay with a license (39-17-1311), but in 39-17-1314 it says the following:

    Local Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition Preempted By State Regulation -- ActionsAgainst Firearms or Ammunition Manufacturers, Trade Associations Or Dealers. (a) Except as provided in 39-17-1311(d), which allows counties and municipalities to prohibit thepossession of handguns while within or on a public park, natural area, historic park, nature trail,campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by a county,a municipality or instrumentality thereof, no city, county, or metropolitan government shall occupy any partof the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition orcomponents of firearms or combinations thereof; provided, that this section shall be prospective only andshall not affect the validity of any ordinance or resolution lawfully enacted before April 8, 1986....

    That law was amended over a year ago, no local ordinances affecting firearm regulation are valid, except those affecting discharge, shooting ranges, and carry by employees/contractors, and any grandfathered ones were zapped also. Wherever that quote is from is way behind.

    So, for over a year now, local gummits could only ban park carry by adhering to 39-17-1311, but not by local ordinance. Now they can't ban it period.

    Current 39-14-1314:

    -----

    "39-17-1314. Local regulation of firearms and ammunition and knives preempted by state regulation -- Actions against firearms or ammunition manufacturers, trade associations or dealers.

    (a) Except as otherwise provided by state law or as specifically provided in subsection (b), the general assembly preempts the whole field of the regulation of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition, or combinations thereof including, but not limited to, the use, purchase, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, carrying, sale, acquisition, gift, devise, licensing, registration, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all county, city, town, municipality, or metropolitan government law, ordinances, resolutions, enactments or regulation. No county, city, town, municipality, or metropolitan government nor any local agency, department, or official shall occupy any part of the field regulation of firearms, ammunition or components of firearms or ammunition, or combinations thereof.

    (b) A city, county, town, municipality or metropolitan government is expressly authorized to regulate by ordinance, resolution, policy, rule or other enactment the following:

    (1) The carrying of firearms by employees or independent contractors of the city, county, town municipality or metropolitan government when acting in the course and scope of their employment or contract, except as otherwise provided in 39-17-1313;

    (2) The discharge of firearms within the boundaries of the applicable city, county, town, municipality or metropolitan government, except when and where the discharge of a firearm is expressly authorized or permitted by state law;

    (3) The location of a sport shooting range, except as otherwise provided in 39-17-316 and 13-3-412; and

    (4) The enforcement of any state or federal law pertaining to firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition, or combinations thereof.

    (c) The general assembly declares that the lawful design, marketing, manufacture and sale of firearms and ammunition to the public are not unreasonably dangerous activities and do not constitute a nuisance per se.

    (d) (1) The authority to bring suit and right to recover against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer by or on behalf of any state entity, county, municipality or metropolitan government for damages, abatement or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public shall be reserved exclusively to the state.

    (2) Nothing in this subsection (d) shall be construed to prohibit a county, municipality, or metropolitan government from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by such county, municipality, or metropolitan government.

    (3) Nothing in this subsection (d) shall preclude an individual from bringing a cause of action for breach of a written contract, breach of an express warranty, or for injuries resulting from defects in the materials or workmanship in the manufacture of the firearm.

    (e) Subsections (c) and (d) shall not apply in any litigation brought by an individual against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer.

    (f) It is the intent of the general assembly that this part is preemptive with respect to the transfer, ownership, possession or transportation of knives and no city, county, or metropolitan government shall occupy any part of the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession or transportation of knives."

    ------


    - OS
    Last edited by Oh Shoot; 05-22-2015 at 11:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Shoot View Post
    That law was amended over a year ago, no local ordinances affecting firearm regulation are valid, except those affecting discharge, shooting ranges, and carry by employees/contractors, and any grandfathered ones were zapped also. Wherever that quote is from is way behind...
    As previously stated, it from handgunlaw.us They're usually on top of things, so it's disturbing that that don't know of the change. Since you're apparently well-versed in TN law, may I suggest that it would be worthwhile for you to communicate the needed corrections to them?

    Thanks much for the info. I'm glad to hear that preemption rules!

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Glad to know TN fixed this part of the law. Wish I had known it a few weeks ago when I was in TN.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    As previously stated, it from handgunlaw.us They're usually on top of things, so it's disturbing that that don't know of the change. Since you're apparently well-versed in TN law, may I suggest that it would be worthwhile for you to communicate the needed corrections to them?

    Thanks much for the info. I'm glad to hear that preemption rules!
    Sorry, thought maybe you were using two different sources.

    The owner usually comes around on my home forum (tngunowners.com) to check out the new laws -- I understand he probably doesn't update them until Michie does (generally in Sept-Nov), but yeah, this preemption one is over a year old now, is from the 2014 legislative session, so I did indeed email him regarding it.

    Note that park carry changes are not reflected on his site either, but they are brand new, and Michie won't have them revised for several months yet.

    best,

    - OS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Shoot View Post
    Sorry, thought maybe you were using two different sources.

    The owner usually comes around on my home forum (tngunowners.com) to check out the new laws -- I understand he probably doesn't update them until Michie does (generally in Sept-Nov), but yeah, this preemption one is over a year old now, is from the 2014 legislative session, so I did indeed email him regarding it.

    Note that park carry changes are not reflected on his site either, but they are brand new, and Michie won't have them revised for several months yet...
    Great!

    Who is Michie? (Mike Stollenwerk?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Great!

    Who is Michie? (Mike Stollenwerk?)
    Oops, that's the old name of company, flashback I guess.

    It's LexisNexis.

    They have certain states' entire state law online.

    Tennessee's at:

    http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/

    Gary's links at handgunlaw.us generally point there.

    - OS
    Last edited by Oh Shoot; 05-24-2015 at 01:58 AM.

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    Evidently the Governor did sign legislation that allows a licensee to carry in all parks in TN....... but that was just signed last month on 4/26/15, not a year ago so I guess I don't understand where the "fixed it over a year ago" comment came from. I didn't realize he had signed it so this question made me do a little of my own research and that's why I really like this forum, it makes us all think and we learn from these posts. Respectful discourse is a constructive thing. TN is making progress in the 2A area and we still need to keep up the advocacy of 2A issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken56 View Post
    Evidently the Governor did sign legislation that allows a licensee to carry in all parks in TN....... but that was just signed last month on 4/26/15, not a year ago so I guess I don't understand where the "fixed it over a year ago" comment came from. ...
    Please reread what I wrote, seems clear enough.

    Again, a year ago 39-17-1314 was amended so that local ordinances could not prohibit carry in parks. This affected a number of towns around the state, most noticeably for size, Knoxville, which had always prohibited park carry by local grandfathered ordinance. Since Knoxville took no action to ban carry as per the existing 39-17-1311, the only way a city/county could still prohibit it, park carry has been de facto legal here for over a year. Even though our illustrious mayor and chief of police didn't seem to grok that.

    Now the parks part doesn't matter, but it's still good that local ordinances for the most part can't be instituted (can still determine the 3 issues I mentioned). Same for knives.

    Note that Nashville and Memphis and Chattanooga are are all hedging on certain clearly park/recreational properties, saying they are not such; in 'Noogas case they are saying that carry can still be prohibited if the park is leased for an event. Etc. I imagine this kind of thing will go on for some time. After all, civic centers and arenas also fit into the statute too.

    I'm afraid that some judge will void the new law as "constitutionally vague" as happened with the first "guns in bars" legislation.

    - OS
    Last edited by Oh Shoot; 05-24-2015 at 09:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Shoot View Post
    Please reread what I wrote, seems clear enough.

    Again, a year ago 39-17-1314 was amended so that local ordinances could not prohibit carry in parks. This affected a number of towns around the state, most noticeably for size, Knoxville, which had always prohibited park carry by local grandfathered ordinance. Since Knoxville took no action to ban carry as per the existing 39-17-1311, the only way a city/county could still prohibit it, park carry has been de facto legal here for over a year. Even though our illustrious mayor and chief of police didn't seem to grok that.

    Now the parks part doesn't matter, but it's still good that local ordinances for the most part can't be instituted (can still determine the 3 issues I mentioned). Same for knives.

    Note that Nashville and Memphis and Chattanooga are are all hedging on certain clearly park/recreational properties, saying they are not such; in 'Noogas case they are saying that carry can still be prohibited if the park is leased for an event. Etc. I imagine this kind of thing will go on for some time. After all, civic centers and arenas also fit into the statute too.

    I'm afraid that some judge will void the new law as "constitutionally vague" as happened with the first "guns in bars" legislation.

    - OS
    Maybe I've misunderstood something...

    What difference does it make if something is a park/recreation property/whatever if the state has fully preempted localities from prohibiting carry? And a related question - what are the the "3 issues"?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Maybe I've misunderstood something...

    What difference does it make if something is a park/recreation property/whatever if the state has fully preempted localities from prohibiting carry? And a related question - what are the the "3 issues"?

    Thanks.
    The state has not preempted local governments from posting "any" property, only parks. City Hall etc could still be posted.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
    The state has not preempted local governments from posting "any" property, only parks. City Hall etc could still be posted.
    If city hall can be posted, then it is because of a state law, not a local ordinance, at least that's how I read the preemption law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    If city hall can be posted, then it is because of a state law, not a local ordinance, at least that's how I read the preemption law.
    That is correct. 39-17-1359 lets any property owner, including local governments, post any property the control. Except now the park carry law prevents them from posting local parks.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
    That is correct. 39-17-1359 lets any property owner, including local governments, post any property the control. Except now the park carry law prevents them from posting local parks.
    My head is spinning! Where can I find a current 39-17-1311, because the one that handgunlaw refers to still disallows park carry except for those with permits.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    .... And a related question - what are the the "3 issues"?
    The ones listed with statute quote in post 4. Those are the only issues/areas that local gummit can still have ordinances for.

    - OS

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    My head is spinning! Where can I find a current 39-17-1311, because the one that handgunlaw refers to still disallows park carry except for those with permits....
    Still does require permit. A permit is required to carry anywhere in public. Handgunlaw just cut out the other stuff, but his synopsis is basically right, though he left out a part about school functions being present in the park.

    The statute has not been re-compiled anywhere yet for a quote to my knowledge. Can only give you text of the passed bill which calls for the changes to not only 39-17-1311, but also 39-17-1309.

    Basically, can carry in all parks/rec property, unless a school function is present, but that presence has to be on an athletic field, and you can then no longer been in "close proximity" (undefined). Op out by resolution and signage erection is no longer an option.

    Note that also, there somewhat of a conflict between 39-17-1359 and 39-17-1311 as to exactly the extent of 1359 regarding anything "recreational" related. Nashville, Memphis, and Nooga so far have all indicated they think that 1359 will cover properties that look and smell and are used like parks, indeed some of which have "park" in the frigging name. Obviously going to be some legal battles over certain properties, and I'm still thinking there's a chance the whole thing gets put on hold by a court for "vagueness". As I mentioned, this happened with the first enactment of the "guns in bars" law, too.

    Pretty sure this is the final passed version, came out of a joint conference committee after loggerheads on both Senate and House bills:

    http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/...rts/CC0001.pdf

    - OS
    Last edited by Oh Shoot; 05-27-2015 at 10:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Shoot View Post
    The ones listed with statute quote in post 4. Those are the only issues/areas that local gummit can still have ordinances for.

    - OS
    Meaning this: "That law was amended over a year ago, no local ordinances affecting firearm regulation are valid, except those affecting discharge, shooting ranges, and carry by employees/contractors, and any grandfathered ones were zapped also."?

    As much as I have and continue to appreciate your help, it would have helped a lot more had you just cut and pasted the above into your reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Shoot View Post
    Still does require permit. A permit is required to carry anywhere in public. Handgunlaw just cut out the other stuff, but his synopsis is basically right, though he left out a part about school functions being present in the park...
    Thanks much.

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    So what do I do when a cop arrests me and claims the park (which is separated from the school by a two-lane road) is school property and I've committed a felony?
    I carry everywhere because crime doesn't make appointments.

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