One day after Metro Council members filed legislation to circumvent state law and outlaw firearms where beer is served, state Sen. Doug Jackson said Tennessee code prevents local governments from regulating firearms.
At-large Councilmembers Megan Barry and Charlie Tygard filed legislation Thursday aimed at outlawing guns in Davidson County bars and restaurants. The legislation would use the beer board as a tool to make outlawing firearms a condition of a permit.
But in a press release sent Friday, Jackson said Tennessee code specifically puts regulation of firearms outside the purview of local government.
Quoting from Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1314(a): "No city, county, or metropolitan government shall occupy any part of the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or combination thereof ..."
Jackson (D-Dickson) said the recently passed law allowing guns in restaurants and bars already gives business owners the right to post signs outlawing them.
"There is no need to remove options from restaurant owners or interfere with the rights of law-abiding citizens by revoking beer permits and punishing restaurants,” Jackson said.
Barry said the point of the Council legislation is to outlaw guns in bars and restaurants without establishment owners being forced to post signs.
“The last thing we want to do is bring someone in from out of town and every place you go, you see ‘No guns, no guns, no guns,’” Barry said. “I would prefer to not have to see our restaurant folks spending lots of money buying signs. Beer and guns don’t mix.”