NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) –A proposal that would allow guns in local and state parks came one step closer to becoming law on Monday.
There are several parks where permit holders can already bring guns, but lawmakers want to make the policy consistent throughout the state.
Speaker Beth Harwell said she’s against the bill, especially in urban places like Nashville. But she chose not to vote at all Monday. The bill passed 65-21.
“If I have a Republican in the well, I don’t like to vote against a fellow Republican,” Harwell said. “But there are a lot of other members that did the same thing as me.”
If it passes, the measure would go into effect next week in time for the NRA convention in Music City.
Rep. Mike Harrison, R-Rogersville, sponsored the bill. In an earlier interview with Channel 4, he acknowledged the NRA as part of the reason behind the proposal.
“You’ve got 80,000 people coming to the city of Nashville from all over the country, and obviously some of those people will want to go out and enjoy the wonderful parks here,” Harrison said on March 10.
But on Monday, Harrison said he mostly felt pressure from female voters.
“After talking to especially some females in my district, they feel safer, especially going to some natural trails in parks if they have a weapon,” Harrison said. “And that was the overriding factor for me.”
Safety speaks not only to the bill’s supporters, but its critics as well…