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Tennessee localities that have overturned their "opt-out" decision on parks carry

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Wondering if folks here can point me to any Tennessee county or municipal governments that originally chose to "opt-out" of the carry-in-parks law for their local parks, then later rescinded/changed that decision and now allow carry in municipal parks.  I'm aware of the situation in Clarksville - that was the municipal govt and not county, right?

 

I've heard that something similar may have occurred in Jackson/Madison County - is that correct?  Any details?

 

My reason for the inquiry:  a window of opportunity to overturn an opt-out resolution may have opened in Bristol, TN with last night's defeat of 2 incumbents for CIty Council.  One of those defeated was David Shumaker - the village idiot- who, on July 7, 2009 (just before the opt-out resolution was to be voted on) told me that in his opinion, the 2nd Amendment was as outdated as slavery and women's suffrage, and whose name prominently appeared on Bloombergs MAIG list.  I have approached other council members to explore an overturn strategy, and while Shumaker's defeat will certainly help, there are other obstacles to be overcome (ie, police chief and the city attorney, to name two).  I know two council members (one old,. one new) are definitely supporting overturn, and there are two others that I/we need to work on.   Any examples of precedent I can provide to the supportive council members will be of great help in this effort.

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As per jhnpeterman's post, Jackson and Madison County did not "Opt Out" initially, and have not done so, as the issue has not resulted in "blood in the ball park" or gunfights in the parking lots, just as we all knew it would not.

 

 

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None of the towns outside Memphis, except Germantown, prohibit carrying in a park that I know of.  Germantown is the only town that I have seen with the proper signs. 

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None of the recent shootings in Memphis took place in the parks.  None involved citizens legally carrying handguns.

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I can't figure this one out.  East Ridge's Camp Jordan park is posted yet they have a gun show twice a year between the posted signs.   Go figure...

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I can't figure this one out.  East Ridge's Camp Jordan park is posted yet they have a gun show twice a year between the posted signs.   Go figure...

 

My wife says that it's because the City Council are greedy, want the revenue from renting the arena, and just choose to ignore their own rules.  I don't necessarily disagree with her.  I don't know if there is any exception written into the "opt out" language of the State law that lets them suspend their own rules.

 

An female East Ridge resident I know broached the subject with one of the council members.  She would like to jog at Camp Jordan and be able to protect herself with her gun.  The response she got was something equivalent to "you'll shot your eye out" from Christmas Story.  The council member didn't think women needed to carry guns anywhere, apparently.  She described it as a condescending, government-knows-best response.  East Ridge is a good example of why the State needs to preempt all local gun laws.  I always say that if you give someone (an individual, a group, etc) the power to ban something, they will just because they can.

 

I remember when they were debating about whether to opt out of the law several years ago.  I believe they used the fact that Camp Jordan hosts baseball tournaments that they were afraid would relocate because of the presence of guns.  Its funny that just across the state line, Jack Mattox Recreation Facility in Catoosa County, Georgia has a similar set-up--multiple ball fields and a walking track.  Amazingly, they manage to have dozens of games without anyone being killed despite the fact that Georgia allows guns in parks.

 

For those not from this area, please note that Camp Jordan is a very large park with a jogging trail that winds through the woods.  There are lots of ambush opportunities for a predator.  I guess that fact that there hasn't been an epidemic of rapes reassures the City Council that it is safe enough.  There was a body found there a few years ago, though.

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My wife says that it's because the City Council are greedy, want the revenue from renting the arena, and just choose to ignore their own rules.  I don't necessarily disagree with her.  I don't know if there is any exception written into the "opt out" language of the State law that lets them suspend their own rules.

...

For those not from this area, please note that Camp Jordan is a very large park with a jogging trail that winds through the woods.  There are lots of ambush opportunities for a predator.  I guess that fact that there hasn't been an epidemic of rapes reassures the City Council that it is safe enough.  There was a body found there a few years ago, though.

Plus there is a big difference between carrying with the intent to go armed and carrying an unloaded weapon to sell at a show. Even without the countywide park ban, every gun show I've been to in the last several years (not a huge number, but still...) has banned concealed carry by customers. If you bring a weapon in the door it's checked and made safe before it's allowed in.

 

As for Camp Jordan, I would never recommend a female running that track alone. I did some hiking/exploring in the wooded area a few years back and spotted quite a few homeless camps scattered around. I don't know if they are still there or not, but I wouldn't doubt it.

Edited by JWKilgore

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....

As for Camp Jordan, I would never recommend a female running that track alone. I did some hiking/exploring in the wooded area a few years back and spotted quite a few homeless camps scattered around. I don't know if they are still there or not, but I wouldn't doubt it.

 

Periodically, there's still at least one off trail between Camp Jordan and Walmart.

 

- OS

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It's funny how some cities choose legislation.  For example, White House allowed parks carry but City Hall is posted.....by contrast, Portland opted out of allowing parks carry, but carry is allowed in City Hall.

 

and....White House PD is posted, and Portland PD is not.

Edited by homeagain

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My understanding of the Blount County situation is this....  The city of Maryville and the City of Alcoa are both entirely contained within Blount County.  The parks are co-managed by all 3 entities (both cities and the county).  The laws state that all decisions must be voted on by all 3 entities.  Maryville and Alcoa cities both voted to "opt out" but Blount County (knowing they wouldn't win) never voted one way or another and hence nullified the decision to opt out.  I'd bet significant money that any Maryville or Aloca cop will say that carry is illegal in their parks because the signage is still there.  I've never pursued it, nor do I intend to. 

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Sometimes cops are poorly-informed, sad to say. Asked 2 Captains in one jurisdiction if their parks are posted, disallowing carry. One Capt said no, not posted, carry is fine....the other said no carry allowed, posted. Correct answer: not posted - carry OK. Hmmm.

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Sometimes cops are poorly-informed, sad to say. Asked 2 Captains in one jurisdiction if their parks are posted, disallowing carry. One Capt said no, not posted, carry is fine....the other said no carry allowed, posted. Correct answer: not posted - carry OK. Hmmm.

It's a busy job. Most officers I know aren't particularly worried about licensed carriers.

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It's a busy job. Most officers I know aren't particularly worried about licensed carriers.


True. However, wouldn't it be kinda helpful if the command staff was on the same page so that front line cops might have good info? If two command staff guys in the same relatively small dept. have differing understandings of what is, and what is not, lawful in this case I'm wondering where else they may be 'confused.'

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My understanding of the Blount County situation is this....  The city of Maryville and the City of Alcoa are both entirely contained within Blount County.  The parks are co-managed by all 3 entities (both cities and the county).  The laws state that all decisions must be voted on by all 3 entities.  Maryville and Alcoa cities both voted to "opt out" but Blount County (knowing they wouldn't win) never voted one way or another and hence nullified the decision to opt out.  I'd bet significant money that any Maryville or Aloca cop will say that carry is illegal in their parks because the signage is still there.  I've never pursued it, nor do I intend to. 

 

Very ironic the timing of your post, yet I'm only further confused.  We had a family picnic at Springbrook Park in Alcoa on Sunday.  I noticed a posting on one of the park signs so I assumed Alcoa had opted out.  Forgot that Alcoa/ Maryville/ Blount County do some things cooperatively.  I knew the landfill was that way, wasn't aware it extended to parks.  From what I gather from your post it sounds like because of the way the votes were cast the signage is not legal?  If that's the case it angers me that Maryville/ Alcoa governments put the signs up anyway because that's what they wanted, even though that is not what was voted on.  I love living here but a few libs are taking a stronghold on our freedoms.  Only reason we go to these parks is because we have a 4 year old, and 4 year olds like playgrounds.  As she gets older we will probably go to GSMNP more often where carrying seems to be encouraged. 

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Very ironic the timing of your post, yet I'm only further confused.  We had a family picnic at Springbrook Park in Alcoa on Sunday.  I noticed a posting on one of the park signs so I assumed Alcoa had opted out.  Forgot that Alcoa/ Maryville/ Blount County do some things cooperatively.  I knew the landfill was that way, wasn't aware it extended to parks.  From what I gather from your post it sounds like because of the way the votes were cast the signage is not legal?  If that's the case it angers me that Maryville/ Alcoa governments put the signs up anyway because that's what they wanted, even though that is not what was voted on.  I love living here but a few libs are taking a stronghold on our freedoms.  Only reason we go to these parks is because we have a 4 year old, and 4 year olds like playgrounds.  As she gets older we will probably go to GSMNP more often where carrying seems to be encouraged. 

 

 

Those signs were there long before any of this "opt out" nonsense came about.  I'm quite sure the cities left the signage on purpose.  If nothing more, it makes the sheeple feel better.  And like I said, that's just my understanding of the situation based on what I've read.  YMMV. 

 

That said, Springbrook is a nice park.  We take the kids there occasionally. 

 

 

 

It's a busy job. Most officers I know aren't particularly worried about licensed carriers.

 

 

Agreed.  I'd much prefer the cops were out there dealing with child abusers and drug dealers than the minutia of handgun carry law.  I feel fairly comfortable that if an HCP holder who's otherwise minding his/her own business was confronted by a cop, they'd just tell you to leave.  I think the distinct lack of case law supports that. 

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Very ironic the timing of your post, yet I'm only further confused.  We had a family picnic at Springbrook Park in Alcoa on Sunday.  I noticed a posting on one of the park signs so I assumed Alcoa had opted out.  Forgot that Alcoa/ Maryville/ Blount County do some things cooperatively.  I knew the landfill was that way, wasn't aware it extended to parks.  From what I gather from your post it sounds like because of the way the votes were cast the signage is not legal?  If that's the case it angers me that Maryville/ Alcoa governments put the signs up anyway because that's what they wanted, even though that is not what was voted on.  I love living here but a few libs are taking a stronghold on our freedoms.  Only reason we go to these parks is because we have a 4 year old, and 4 year olds like playgrounds.  As she gets older we will probably go to GSMNP more often where carrying seems to be encouraged. 

 

Keep in mind that Maryville's mayor, Tom Taylor, is a member of Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

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Keep in mind that Maryville's mayor, Tom Taylor, is a member of Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Yes, I almost included that in my original post.  Good reminder for the folks living in city limits please remember this at election time.

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Yes, I almost included that in my original post.  Good reminder for the folks living in city limits please remember this at election time.

 

Note that citizens don't get to vote on mayor there, only on city council which "elects" him.

 

- OS

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