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luvmyberetta

Is Chattanooga Carry Friendly?

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My family & I are going to Chattanooga for a few days & I'd like to know how gun friendly the area is. We're going on a river cruise, the aquarium, Rock City, & a few other places while there. Last time I was in Chattanooga I didn't have a HCP (I didn't even own a handgun) & took trollies/buses a lot, but now that I have my permit it's more of a concern, but if public transportation is off limits I'll have to drive & park or leave my pistol locked up. Can I carry most places or should I keep it locked up while visiting? It would suck to have to stop what we're doing to make a trip back to the hotel or vehicle to lock my handgun up. Thanks.

Edited by luvmyberetta

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Just tagging along with this one. Last I did that similar tour I was in the same boat. No HCP or firearm. Have both now. Probably heading back that way in a few weeks or spring time.

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The aquarium is located in a plaza that is considered a city park, and is posted.  The aquarium has a "No Weapons Allowed" sign, but the plaza is properly posted.  Others on here have mentioned that Chattanooga LEO will not necessarily enforce the gun ban.  It should be noted that all Chattanooga parks prohibit guns; so that means all the tourist-attraction parks like the Passage, the Riverwalk, Coolidge Park etc. are off limits by law.  It's amazing that they spend lots of money gussing up these parks but tell a certain segment of the public that they are essentially not welcome.  I call it the city is "rejecting my lifestyle," so to speak.  Please note that Coolidge Park was the scene of a gang shooting and Chattanooga took the courageous action of posting more signs there.

 

Hypothetically speaking, if I was going to downtown Chattanooga to see the aquarium, I might feel unease at being disarmed, and would adjust my actions accordingly.  I have it on good authority that someone might have carried there without seeing the signs around the plaza and their conscience is clear to this day.

 

I'm not sure how the law works about the public transportation.  I'm sure if it was legal to do so, Chattanooga would ban it.

 

Rock City is in Georgia and is private property.  So signs do not carry weight there, but you might not want to OC.  A member of GeorgiaPacking,org was specifically told by someone on the phone there that they would prefer you keep your gun in your car, but recognized that he could lawfully carry there.  When I last went, I CC because it is private property and if they asked me to leave, I would have to do so.

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Dawgdoc is correct. You will not have issues carrying into Rock City, Ruby Falls, the TEnnessee Valley Railroad Museum attractions, and most everywhere. The Aquarium is about the only place you will have to make a decision. The bridge is not posted though.

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I lived I Chattanooga in the late 90s; I would not go unarmed.

Sent barefoot from the hills of Tennessee
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Thanks for the responses. I'll be doing some more research & making some phone calls between now & then. I can't live a 24/7 paranoid life, but my wife & I have two young boys so their safety is always on our minds. When we visited a few years ago we stayed at Hamilton Place so we're going with that area again. It seems to be a nice enough spot, plus it's only about 15-20 minutes outside of downtown. Does anyone know if the Hamilton mall is posted?

 

Personally, I probably would have chosen Gatlinburg for Oktoberfest :cheers: , but my wife wanted to surprise me & made all the arrangements & reservations for Chattanooga instead. As long as we don't get mugged, caught in a gang war, fall off the boat, or tumble off "lovers leap", I think it will be a fun trip. :rofl:

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... Does anyone know if the Hamilton mall is posted?

 

Posted on mall entrances but not on anchor store entrances. Was just down there last week walking around it.

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot

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I lived I Chattanooga in the late 90s; I would not go unarmed.

Sent barefoot from the hills of Tennessee

Amen...!. Jak nailed it... Chattanooga is a dangerous place where the "hood" front intersects with the "tourist attractions"... That is principally downtown and north... Downtown Chattanooga has a serious gang problem that the current mayor (...a former housing bureaucrat...) and the police refuse to recognize...I would be very careful and armed anywhere i went downtown and north to the top of the ridgecut...

 

leroy

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- the mall sort of is, but multiple entrances are not properly marked if you want the "letter of the law" excuse.

- most of the tourist traps are posted,  the aquarium I am 99% sure is (anyone verify, been a while?)

- a lot of eating places are

 

- a totally unrelated side note but its a rich area for history if you are into such things. 

 

so in general from the types of places you are going you will run into multiple "not here" signs.   I can't recommend carrying past the signs but I will observe that none of the places have a metal detector or guards or anything unless you want to check out the inside of the courthouse or something.

 

 

The majority of assaults and bad crimes are not in the tourist areas, but (well duh) in the rougher parts of town, mostly residential areas downtown.  Don't go randomly driving around downtown esp after dark, its easy to end up in the questionable areas as a lot of them are not really geographically very far from the aquarium and safe bits. 

Edited by Jonnin
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Honestly, I don't think you'll find yourself in the middle of anything at the Aquarium. It is the going to and from that concerns me. But nothing is guaranteed and only you can make that decision for you.  

 

Or you could just simply play by "Big Boy Rules" .....Concealed means CONCEALED. Everything is a compromise and everything has a potential price or consequence......

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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Honestly, I don't think you'll find yourself in the middle of anything at the Aquarium. It is the going to and from that concerns me. But nothing is guaranteed and only you can make that decision for you.  

 

Or you could just simply play by "Big Boy Rules" .....Concealed means CONCEALED. Everything is a compromise and everything has a potential price or consequence......

 

The "Big Boy Rules" is the answer... You can be acosted in "safe" downtown Chattanooga...

 

leroy

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The "Big Boy Rules" is the answer... You can be acosted in "safe" downtown Chattanooga...

leroy

We took my 3 year old down to the "stairs of water" thing. Felt somewhat safe, but I got a little antsy myself.

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If I had an HCP  and I and my family were going to take a field trip to see the sights in Chattnooga I would be armed in CONCEALED carry everywhere I went. My family is more important than any Politically Correct Sign trying to deny me of my 2nd Amendment Right to protect myself and my family. The only way I would not enter a building is if I had to pass through a metal detector. Other wise I am going to protect my family and enjoy my trip. But remember that would be my decision and does not have to be yours..............jmho

Edited by bersaguy
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chattanooga is no safer than any other place these days.  the inner city, downtown, or at the mall.  it is the same problems.  the gangs and other problems are getting out of control.  have a gun on youself for your and your family protection.  with the good true pocket pistols made now there is no reason not to have one in your pocket.  keep it concealed.  play by the "big boy rules".   have fun in down town chattanooga, just keep your head up. 

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Amen...!. Jak nailed it... Chattanooga is a dangerous place where the "hood" front intersects with the "tourist attractions"... That is principally downtown and north... Downtown Chattanooga has a serious gang problem that the current mayor (...a former housing bureaucrat...) and the police refuse to recognize...I would be very careful and armed anywhere i went downtown and north to the top of the ridgecut...

 

leroy

 

Also, a 69 year old man was raped by a 17 year old black male just last week around 7am while he was jogging in NORTH Chattanooga about a mile from Coolidge Park. This type of violence is spreading slowly around the perimeter of the Downtown areas. Be careful where you go and be out by dark is my advice. I've lived here all of my 61 years.

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In regard to the Aquarium--if you want to park right next to it, it costs $9-10 for the nearest parking lot.  If you park on the street or at the nearest garage, your walk may be just across the street or a few blocks down the street.  I don't like parking in the expensive lot, but I also don't like walking around there unarmed either. 

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I live here and would suggest the above posters that 'concealed means concealed' in regards to downtown Chattanooga. Yes we did just have a 69 year old jogger sexually assaulted by a 17 year old juvie in the early morning the DAY AFTER the Chattanooga Ironman and in what is considered a 'decent' place just on the other side of the river from the Aquarium. 

 

A poster above mentioned the water steps and this is the one time I had hand on handle and ready to present. It was summertime and a gang of 'youths' came running down the steps. My wife and I stepped to the side with blue lights flashing up top and they were evading. The downtown police have armored Segways and ride them around downtown if that tells you anything and that cop lit them up. It was unnerving as hell and also the last time I carried a Ruger LCP. 

 

Coolidge Park has gotten a major lighting upgrade and there is usually a police presence on the walking bridge. I would not be caught on the public transport in Chattanooga, even on a Sunday at lunchtime but that's just me. Parking ain't that bad to have to resort to that man.

 

If you are going downtown, a good place to park is the garage near the climbing gym. Its close and not too expensive and if you stay late, they shut the payment booth down and open the exit gate. 

 

If you have any questions about some better places than the usual tourist traps to go, feel free to ask away. A couple years ago we had a crime assessment done and it was not cheap. It was not exactly favorable and the city immediately discredited it. Funny how that works. 

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Why not just vacation in Memphis?

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Why not just vacation in Memphis?

 

???? :confused:

Edited by luvmyberetta

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Why not just vacation in Memphis?

 

 

haha... to quote Dirty Harry-- "Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, DO YA?"

Edited by tartanphantom
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The touristy places are all pretty much off limits, as others have already said. These places are pretty safe and well patrolled during peak hours, though.

It's the before and after hours that you'll need to worry about carrying.

A couple years ago we had a crime assessment done and it was not cheap. It was not exactly favorable and the city immediately discredited it. Funny how that works.

The mayor's wife is the head of the organization that did the assessment. It was just a way to put some city money in the Berke's pockets, so it was never intended to be of any use. It is funny how that works.

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Just thought I'd chime in as a native. 

 

I live in North Chatt, actually lived in Hill City for years, if any of you are locals, you'll know where that is. So, I think I've probably seen a lot of the different sides Chattanooga has to offer. 

 

I spend a great deal of time downtown, and my wife has a season pass to the Aquarium. We ALWAYS prefer to eat at a local restaurant downtown or on the South Side (south end of downtown) rather than Hixson, Brainerd, or Hamilton Place. 

 

Although I'm in Hixson frequently for business, or for my usual Lowes run, you almost couldn't pay me to go to Hamilton Place other than on business, but that's got nothing to do with safety, I just hate the traffic. (I'm probably more likely to get driven over by a soccer mom rushing to the sale at Dillards in her Infinity QX940000 superdupersuv than encounter a gang member!)

 

Chattanooga has it's share of issues, but I for one am very proud of my city. There are fantastic places to enjoy that other cities wish they had. I think if you checked out most large parks in the US, there has been an "incident" at some point or another. I'm not denying anything that has been written by other posters in this thread. But, I don't think that there is statistically significant "additional risk" by eating at Urban Stack, The Flying Squirrel, Lupi's, La Altenia, or Alleia.

 

And, even if there is "more risk," I'd gladly take my chances rather than choose between Appleblah, Red Flobster, or TJ McBoring at Hamilton Place. That's just my opinion, and I appreciate my fellow TGO'ers letting me express it.

 

 

 

Part of what I'm getting at... I don't think I can predict where and when I'll need to call upon some level of force to defend myself. It could happen in my living room, it could happen in Downtown Chattanooga. It could happen in Soddy Daisy. I've lived a lot of places, including a stint in a slum outside Manila, Philippines. I think the best approach is ALWAYS have the best situational awareness you can, and then enjoy yourself. Generally, we live in amazing safety, and even have the freedom to defend ourselves with lethal force if we so choose. I choose not to miss out on what I feel are some of the richest experiences my community has to offer, even though I would probably be technically more safe to stay home. I base this on the fact that the likelyhood that I'll EVER have to defend myself is an amazingly small statistic. If I'm 0.00006 "less safe" on the Walnut Street bridge, then frankly, I'm OK with that. I couldn't walk across that bridge enough in my lifetime to move me up to a 0.00007 bracket, so I choose not to sweat it, and enjoy that awesome bridge!

 

 

Please forgive my verbose nature. I probably felt a little like defending my hometown more than I should. :)

 

Last to say, you are WELCOME in my town, and you're going to have a FANTASTIC time! While you're enjoying the standard tourist fare, (which is great, everyone should try Rock CIty at least once!) please don't miss out on some of the true gems we have in Chattanooga!

  • Renaissance Park is next to Coolidge, and lots more fun to explore!
  • Civil War history dripping everywhere. 
  • Cloudland Canyon is a beautiful drive down Lookout Mountain, and really is a great visit.
  • The Stingers Ridge trails in North Chatt are one of the most remarkable trail networks to be completely surrounded by a city, and still feel like you're "getting out there."
  • Grab a couple paddleboards before it gets too chilly and hit the river! Don't miss the chance to paddle up to the cliff below the Hunter Museum and climb it! Once you get as high as you like, it's a blast to see who can jump the farthest out into the river!

If you're curious about anything, or would just like to know where to find the best tacos in town, just shoot my a PM. I love my city, and I love sharing it's best features with guests!

 

Thanks for choosing Chattanooga!

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If you look at where the overwhelming majority of bad stuff happens it is primarily in a few neighborhoods...( imagine that....) 

 

If you stay to the "tourist areas" and not go exploring the "hood" you'll be fine. Just pay attention to what is going on around you and don't get sucked into long discussions with panhandlers.

 

I used to live in downtown Chattanooga in the 1990s before it got the big makeover. I used to walk from the Sportsbarn on Market street (just down from the Aquarium) across the Market Street Bridge over the area that would eventually become Coolidge Park past a bunch of abandoned buildings that would eventually be the Northshore shops and up Forrest Ave to Colville St.  I lived in the Albermarle building for 2 years (corner of McCallie and Lindsey) and lived on Colville St in North Chattanooga for 2 years. I used to run the loop between the Market Street Bridge and the Walnut Street Bridge and back to the Sportsbarn. No one ever messed with me but I paid attention to my surroundings and didn't do stupid stuff. I rode the bus around downtown and got to see a lot of how street people interact with each other and with "normal folks" but again, I paid attention and was always aware of surroundings and ready to fight or run at the drop of a hat. 

 

Can bad stuff happen? Yes. While I was living there a dude got murdered in the Albermarle building ....his boyfriend (yes I said his boyfriend)stabbed him in the heart with a steak knife... and I broke up a burglary attempt outside in the parking lot one night. I also came home one morning and the cops had a dude cuffed and held at gunpoint in the lobby of the building that they had chased in there. I also worked in the office at UTC that Dr. Douglas Kingdon stumbled into after he was shot in a carjacking attempt in a parking lot across the street from UTC on McCallie Ave.

 

Can bad stuff happen? Yes...but not normally in the tourist areas at least not THAT kind of stuff ...that was happening in a place tourists wouldn't normally have any business being. I do know people who have gotten robbed downtown but they would have just as easily gotten robbed at DisneyWorld because of their lack of awareness. How do we keep from getting jacked on the street? Don't stand still and talk to strangers that approach you for no apparent reason. 

 

Again, if you choose to go armed then "concealed" means CONCEALED. If you choose to not go armed then just stay aware and avoid contact with unsavory characters who approach. Enjoy your trip just be smart. 

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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You're probably statistically safer in Chattanooga than Memphis, Nashville, or Atlanta. 

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