House creates Republican Caucus Firearms Issues Task Force

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 2:54pm

After angering gun enthusiasts by failing to expand Second Amendment rights during this year’s session, state House Republicans formed a special committee Wednesday to recommend action before next year.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, announced the appointment of seven lawmakers to what he named the Republican Caucus Firearms Issues Task Force.

He charged the group with “studying current state laws to identify if any changes may need to be made.” The task force will meet with outside groups to “gain a better understanding” of the issues surrounding the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans, McCormick said.

The seven members are some of the most ardent gun rights proponents in the legislature. The chairman is Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, who led last year’s campaign to enact the guns-in-bars law. Also named to the task force is Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, who sponsored failed legislation this year to let University of Tennessee professors go armed on campus.

“This task force will study ways we can protect the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans and will make recommendations to our majority about good public policy we all can support,” McCormick said. “I think this is a worthwhile effort to streamline the process and build consensus within the General Assembly. I look forward to hearing what Chairman Todd and the group report back to us.”

After this year’s session ended in May, the state’s gun lobby was irate and threatening political reprisals against Republican state lawmakers for failing to expand Second Amendment rights in the first year of the party’s large majority in the legislature.

John Harris, executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, painted Republicans as ingrates and accused them of treating gun proponents as “the unwanted stepchildren” of Tennessee politics.

Harris denounced some Republicans as “spineless.” Likening the legislature to a garden badly in need of weeding, he suggested supporters should recruit challengers for these lawmakers in the 2012 elections. Harris made his remarks in a posting on his organization’s website.

19 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 7/13/11 at 1:38

Wow! Focused like a laser on jobs just like they promised in the 2010 election.

By: revo-lou on 7/13/11 at 3:04

Super, this should open up all kinds of job ops in no time at all!

By: pswindle on 7/13/11 at 4:41

John Harris can never be satisfied until everyone is running around with guns hanging out of every pocket and in each hand.

By: gdiafante on 7/14/11 at 6:16

Do these morons think the average person who is unemployed, or can't make their mortgage payment, or has a significant illness/healthcare issues really care about expanding the 2nd amendment just for the sake of being able to do it?

By: treehugger7 on 7/14/11 at 6:25

What the heck do they want now?! Be happy you got this much, morons! Instead of Dolly Parton giving a child a book, are we supposed to give them a gun at birth?! Count your gun toting selves lucky. There will be another election, and hopefully the smart people will show up this time!

By: frodo on 7/14/11 at 8:00

So, what you are all saying is that you don't care what the Constitution says. If this is a right you don't want and you don't want others to have it either, then bury it. Selective regard for law is the fuel of a thuggish and corrupt government.

By: macjedi on 7/14/11 at 8:03

Hiding behind a jobs agenda, the TRUE nature of the GOP (to socially force their controlling agenda on people) is constantly showing through the cracks. They campaigned to independents on jobs and fiscal responsibility, and that won them the election. All the while, they were pandering on the backs of pickup trucks to their traditional redneck base.

Don't they already HAVE plenty of gun rights, since you can now legally get trashed in a bar AND come packing?

By: Cookie47 on 7/14/11 at 8:32

macjedi, it really doesn't surprise me you have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to the "Guns in Bars" law. This law allows Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) holders to carry in a restaurant that just happens to serve alcohol. HCP holders are still NOT allowed to consume alcohol while carrying or even have their weapon in their vehicle.

As an HCP holder, I encourage, no, I demand you report any person drinking alcohol while carrying. Chances are that person is a criminal and doesn't give a damn about the law but I'm sure you won't have a problem looking said criminal in the eye and pressing charges with a LEO standing by your side. Of course, once that criminal gets a real good look at you, you might want to consider getting your own HCP. Criminals have a way of getting pissed at people who turn them in.

Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot you're a liberal so you think if you hug that criminal real close, he/she will forgive you. You'll think that right up until they stick that gun to your head and pull the trigger.

Liberals are so stupid sometimes. Macjedi, might I suggest you research what you're going to write about BEFORE you write about then you won't appear as you did in last post - like just one more screaming, uninformed liberal idiot.

By: gdiafante on 7/14/11 at 10:07

"So, what you are all saying is that you don't care what the Constitution says."

This makes no sense and again side-steps the issue that the 2nd amendment is not in jeopardy. What is in question is employment, rising heath care, infrastructure, education ,etc.

"Liberals are so stupid sometimes. Macjedi, might I suggest you research what you're going to write about BEFORE you write about then you won't appear as you did in last post - like just one more screaming, uninformed liberal idiot."


By: Cookie47 on 7/14/11 at 11:02

gdiafante, when are you and all your liberal friends going to wake up and realize government, state or federal, does NOT create jobs. They instead need to get the hell out of the way, cut taxes and spending, and the public sector will create the jobs for which you people are screaming.

Stop blaming the very people who are working to create the businesses that create the jobs.

Place the blame squarely on the backs of who deserves it for this mess - the damn Dems and the Socialist Regimen known as the Obama Administration. You and others like you voted for these Dem jackasses. Now join us to vote them out.

Am I saying vote Republican? HELL NO!!!! I'm saying vote for the people who WILL cut taxes, cut spending, and get the hell out of the way.

By: not_guilty on 7/14/11 at 2:24

Let the gun afficianados have their phallic symbols. After all, not everyone is blessed with the combination of brains and testicular fortitude that walking around unarmed requires.

By: Cookie47 on 7/14/11 at 2:54

Not Guilty, let me guess, your hobby is fantasizing about the size of other guys' packages.

OKAAAAY!!!!! I think I'll stick to going to the range for some target practice but you have fun with that, Not Guilty!!!

By: Moonglow1 on 7/15/11 at 6:58

Moonglow1:: so many gun battles in TN. And now the gun lobby NRA is pushing for more guns. It is not enough for them to have guns in bars. They want guns in cars and while driving and more and more guns. Well then, there you have it. The combination of guns, thugs, and gangs. Well Haslam, is that your prescription for drawing business to Nashville. Guns and creationism. Oh, and no energy efficient light bulbs (per Marsha Blackburn). You go Tennessee. This state is now at the forefront of innovation brought to your by our "esteemed" Tea Party leaders and their ALEC priorities.

The only comment I do agree with follows:

Harris denounced some Republicans as “spineless.” Likening the legislature to a garden badly in need of weeding,

By: Cookie47 on 7/15/11 at 7:19

Moony, Moony, Moony, you should refrain from commenting on those things of which you know nothing of. Your fear of guns, those that carry LEGALLY, and your yellow streak down your back is showing. Nothing new for you but, then again, we don't expect much from you.

The thugs and gangs already have the guns and they don't given a tinker's damn about the law or about you or me for that matter. The difference is some of us choose to legally carry to protect ourselves and families rather than cower in a corner hoping the police get there before a thug kills us.

"Guns and creationism" - you obviously hate both. The first is your problem and the other God will deal with.

"no energy efficient light bulbs (per Marsha Blackburn)" - you produce an energy efficient light bulb that doesn't cause a bio hazard if it breaks and doesn't cost an arm and leg and even I will beat a pathway to your door. Otherwise, butt out.

By: localboy on 7/15/11 at 8:09

Good post, Kosh.

By: macjedi on 7/15/11 at 8:21

Actually, Cookie, I was demonizing the opposition to piss people like you off. I know how to stupid-ass hair-splitting of the law assumes that you'd just NEVER drink AND have a gun in a bar. The issue is the concealment. There is no way to know if a concealed-carry person is packing and drinking until it is TOO LATE.

So, we don't allow people to drink and drive, but we DO allow people to combine weapons into a drinking environment. Does not matter how you try to redneck-justify it. Not a good idea. And according to all the "NO GUNS ALLOWED" signs on our restaurants, I think I've been proven in the majority.

Glad you can be shoulder-deep in fear and paranoia. Just the way the powers that be like you. Congrats for being part of the problem and not the solution.

By: Cookie47 on 7/15/11 at 9:13

MacJedi, since TN isn't a conceal state, perhaps you'd like it better if all HCP holders began carrying openly. That way you'd be able to tell the legal carriers from the thugs carrying concealed. I would do that but I like to element of surprise when I carry a gun.

It might surprise your numbed mind to know I didn't agree with the passing of the "Guns in Bars" law. I don't drink alcohol at all and didn't think the two should mix but, if no sign is on the door, I carry. If there is a sign, I don't give the place my business.

As for the signs, unless I'm in Hillsboro Village or Green Hills, I don't see them. I hope you enjoy the restaurants that do have them but just remember, the thugs don't give a damn about the signs. They'll carry in anyway. Good luck with that.

I don't fear anyone but God and I'm not paranoid about anything. I have a permit to carry legally and practice regularly. If need be, I'll use my weapon to protect my family or myself. I'm confident in my ability to do that. The paranoid ones are people like you that fear law-abiding citizens that carry rather than the thugs who are the real problem.

You can rest assured, MacJedi, if someone outside my circle of family and friends needs help, they'll have to wait for the police. It's people like you that give me no desire to step in to help someone. The life I save may be yours or someone like you and personal protection rounds simply cost too much to take that chance.

Just remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. I sincerely hope you won't need it but good luck.

By: macjedi on 7/16/11 at 10:48

Yes, a society of wild-west logic is just what we need. "You have the right to bear arms, and the right to arm bears..." Woo hoo!

So you were against the bill, but now punish those who have signs by refusing business there. Like many gun fans it all boils down to some macho "cold dead hands" issue instead of following the original politics you applied to the situation. If you didn't like the law (and you seemed to have a GREAT reason why that we both share), why not just shrug at the sign and move along with your life?

I don't have the answers in total, but what I DO NOT need are TWO people shooting it out in a public place with me or anyone else in the crossfire. It is not the guy who shows up and robs the place that I am worried about. He can have the money. Whatever. Let the law sort it out. I'm not as addicted to obsession over property crime as most of our society. However, the drunk asshole who is packing when some guy accidentally sticks a pool cue up his date's skirt - and THAT guy is armed, too? AND they have been drinking? Yeah... that's the part I can do without.

By: Cookie47 on 7/18/11 at 6:42

MacJedi, I'm not punishing anyone. A restaurant that has a sign on the door stating no guns is only a "gun free" zone for those of us that carry legally. The criminals don't care about that sign. I choose to frequent places where I know my family will be safe and where I can protect them to the best of my ability - when I am armed. I'm not so cavalier with my family's safety to "just shrug at the sign" and I'm not going to break the law so I don't eat at restaurants that have the sign.

As for a "shootout," my weapon is purely defensive. I'm NOT a cop nor do I have any grandiose thoughts of being a hero. My weapon is for covering the retreat of my family and/or myself ONLY. The cops can sort things out when they get there but I'll be waiting in the parking lot, not on the floor of the restaurant.

As for the "drunk asshole who is packing when some guy accidentally sticks a pool cue up his date's skirt," if he's packing and drinking, there's a good chance he isn't carrying legally. If those are the kinds of places you're hanging out might I suggest you get your permit to carry legally or look for better places to hang out.