City bans guns in parks

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Murfreesboro joined the growing list of cities that will not allow guns in any municipal parks.

The city council voted Thursday night to opt out of a state law that allows carry-permit holders to bring handguns into state, county and city parks.

“I think our nature trails, our parks, our natural areas, our greenways are safe. …” City Mayor Tommy Bragg said. “(These are) not areas people would go if they thought they needed a firearm with them.”

And a majority of the council agreed and passed a resolution to opt out of the state law in a 6-1, with Councilman Toby Gilley as the only dissenting vote.

Gilley did try to reach a compromise with the council by allowing handguns in certain areas, like rural and secluded trails – of city parks.

“I’m against a blanket ban but if the council was willing I’d support and partial ban,” Gilley said.

But City Attorney Susan McGannon said the way the law is written, it’s an all or nothing ban.

“I do not believe the state law as written would allow an event ban … (or) activity specific (ban),” she said, adding the council could go ahead and opt out of the law to revisit the issue at a later date after Tennessee Attorney General has been consulted.

Councilman Shane McFarland said he is against a partial ban in certain places because the issue can get complicated quickly.

Using Patterson Park Community Center as an example, McFarland said the center was designed with a “campus concept” and shares a parking lot with Bradley Elementary and Holloway High schools.

He was concerned about carry-permit holders bringing handguns onto what is technically school property to transport the weapon into the community center.

In the end, the city council agreed with McFarland and opted out of the state law.

Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or
Read more from:
City, Guns, Shane McFarland, Susan McGannon, Toby Gilley, Tommy Bragg
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Members Opinions:
July 10, 2009 at 3:44pm
“I think our nature trails, our parks, our natural areas, our greenways are safe. …” City Mayor Tommy Bragg said. “(These are) not areas people would go if they thought they needed a firearm with them.” When was the last time you went for a jog on the trails? You don't want to go past Manson Pike dam unless you are using the buddy system. "One step forward, two steps back" Murfreesboro's new motto.
July 10, 2009 at 4:08pm
Well its now Open season on law abiding citizens of this stupid city officials vote!

Now post it in every Tennessee news paper & air it on all the News channels So the Criminals can hurry up & target all there Victims ok?

Retards cant see the crime is getting worse everyday in this economy? How many more articals are we all going to read about shootings,& ect. Before they get it through there thick skulls?

Why dont all you idiots that wants to ban gun permit holders from carrying there weapons Start taking walks everynight on the Greenway & so on with your family & see how safe you will be?

That want happen though will it? You got all us Tax payers paying your memberships to your country clubs & so on dont ya? Hope you can protect all your family members,Even the ones that are not of your houshold.

The citys & Goverment wants full control of everyone,But they have only one big problem? They cant control the criminals can they? Only a few at a time get caught & they are only making a new generation of criminals by this kind of laws.

If your starving & lose your job,Home & everything you have in todays world & cant get help from your goverment,What are you going to do to survive? I know what im going to do! Anything it takes to survive!

Now i wonder why theres so many young kids that are drug dealers,& do what they can just to survive by robing,stealing,& ect....? The goverment has failed them thats why? There greed of Money,& there Greed of full control of the human race.

Well you cant take it all with you when your gone can you? People need to learn to stick together and weed these Legal crooks out of office!
July 10, 2009 at 4:16pm
Reminds me of a situation they used to have in Miami. The rental car companies used to have markings on the cars (to identify them as a rental car, for advertising purposes). The criminal then knew that they could car-jack or rob the tourists in the rental cars, since they would not be packing heat.

July 10, 2009 at 4:32pm
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, City Council! We stay away from unsafe places to begin with, so thank you for not making our ballparks, etc, a potential shooting gallery!
July 10, 2009 at 5:27pm
Be aware if myself or any family members suffers at the hands of any criminal in a park or greenway they will be defending their decision in FEDERAL court for taking away our right to defend ourselves (imagine that). It may futile but I guess that money that they believe is coming from TSSAA will be spent in court.

People with the mind set like mck3491 had better hope that someone is disregarding this nonsense when some thug(s), which has seen the target that the city council has drawn on areas of the city that they can get away with criminal act they want. Oh, like carring a gun illegally.

As they say... I would rather be judged by 12 than buried by 6!!!
July 10, 2009 at 5:33pm
What exactly ate the crooks going to steal from you on the greemway that yopu thin you need to kill them over your fishing pole. Geesh. There is nothing to take unless you bring your safe and wear your best jewelry. Oh you might get raped? In the daytime? Not to mention how much of that do we see here. Its all about shooting someone cause they are gonna steal your wallet. Do you really want to kill someone for 10 bucks? Come on people. Wake up.
July 10, 2009 at 5:53pm
It seems that those who are responding negatively to this ban are just the type of people who don't need to be carrying a gun -- over the top and irrational! Scary! Thanks again City Council. Also for those of you who can't figure it out, this doesn't ban you from carrying firearms totally if you're licensed. However I do find mhm2a very threatening!
July 10, 2009 at 6:12pm

Agreed and pleased with the gun ban. That said, in related articles and discussions on this ban, mhm2a has presented coherent, level headed arguments for his side of the debate. Seems like a good guy. Others, not so much. I'm sure AlaskaDave will chime in soon to tell you your and idiot and to move to France. He may even bring it home by calling you a Socialist and comparing you to Hitler.
July 10, 2009 at 6:15pm
Thanks for the heads up jg13. All's fine as long as he doesn't show up at the ball park with his gun pointed at me!
July 10, 2009 at 6:35pm
TNLONESTAR: Thank you for that list. I'm definitely planning on e-mailing each and everyone of them!

Is there any kind of lawsuit that could be filed should something happen to someone with a carry permit in a public park within Murfreesboro? I'm uneducated about legalities.

How do we find out who voted to not allow guns in parks? Was it unanimous? You can bet that when the next election comes up, those who voted against allowing guns, will NOT get my vote!!! I wholeheartedly feel that they made the wrong decision for OUR city! My husband has a carry permit and should be allowed to carry his gun on him IN ORDER TO PROTECT HIM AND HIS FAMILY. He's not some kook who's going to go crazy and shoot someone just because he doesn't like them/doesn't get what he wants/etc. People that think that of everyone with a carry permit need to open their eyes and see that someone like my husband MIGHT just save THEIR life someday. Guess we'll never know now, though.
July 10, 2009 at 6:57pm
I can't figure out why they would ban law abiding licensed permit holding people from having their CONCEALED weapon in a city park. Looks like Toby Gilley is the only council member with ANY common sense. We should all work to un-elect the other councilmen. And the mayor for that matter.
July 10, 2009 at 8:03pm
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill Of Rights that protects a right to keep and bear arms from infringement by the federal government. The American Bar Association has described this right as among the most controversial of the rights codified in the Bill of Rights.

For the ones who disagree with the ban, the next paragragh is important. For the ones who agree with the ban, the Second Amendment has yet to be violated.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an outright ban by the federal government on home possession of an operable firearm, such has a handgun, violates the Second Amendment, and has upheld the constitutionality of longstanding restrictions on the possession of firearms including handguns.

Local laws restricting operable firearms in public places has no bearing on the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment entitles a person to home possession of one.

This comes from the World History Books, the United States Constitution/United States Bill of Rights book located at the Linebaugh Public Library in Murfreesboro,Tn.

A fight to this ban looks slim. However, there is always the Supreme Court.
July 10, 2009 at 8:41pm
Just because you stay away from the "unsafe" areas doesn't mean you're immune to crime. Just because I carry a gun doesn't mean I'm going there either. I just want to be able to protect myself. Crime can happen anywhere. Nowadays you get robbed then shot, or, shot then robbed. I'm willing to fight.
The more we roll over for criminals, the braver they get. Wouldn't you like someone to take a stand and and keep that criminal from moving on to something worse?

How many of you have actually tried to educate yourselves on what repercussions a permit holder can face if they choose to use their gun? Maybe if you did you would see that we do not want to have to use them.

The permit comes with a responsibility. You must decide if your life is truly in danger. The wrong decision can cost your finances, freedom or even your life or the lives of others. It's sad to say but there are going to be a few bad apples. Some may not take the responsibility seriously. But all permit holders cannot be judged by the those few.

Everyone keeps asking "what ifs" of the permit holders. Since I abide by the law my gun stays in the car when I'm at the parks. Well, what if someone breaks into my car and manages to find my gun? Think they're going to leave it? What if they decide to step up to armed robbery now?

Bottom line, stop assuming that the town is going to turn into the wild west where every argument is resolved by the gun. Handgun Carry Permits are nothing new. People with them already carry everywhere they legally can. This includes places that your children are. Nobody's making a fuss over those places.

Banning guns in parks may make you feel better but it's not going to keep them out. I stay away from the problem areas of town so for the most part I feel safe. But like I said crime can happen anywhere. I for one would like a fighting chance.
July 10, 2009 at 10:18pm
Silly Gilley is "smarter" than trained state park rangers who "fear" guns in parks? Don't think so.
July 11, 2009 at 5:19am
Seems that people on this post are about nine to one in favor of the carry permit.So it would also seem that our city and county leaders are not representing us but instead they are representing the tiny minority of do gooders that are going to get us all killed.Sounds like Washington don't it?Its time we voted Bragg and the rest of these idiots out guys and gals. OH! also I think we should boycott their Parks and greenways so they don,t win.
July 11, 2009 at 3:34pm
The state should have never allowed this to be an option. Just more piece meal gun laws that makes it even harder of the law abiding citizen to stay that way. If a citizen has fulfilled all the requirements to get a carrier permit, why put restricts on them? They can't be trusted? Then how did they get the permit? Check out this video I think it is from 1996. But not sure.

Charles Dobbs
July 12, 2009 at 9:15am
Here is 1 for you.. Straight from the University of Chicago, (they did a 5 year study of Firearms and Crime)
2,500,000 crimes/year (during the 5 year study) were stopped IN PROGRESS by Private citizens with firearms.
tha is a total of 12,500,000 over the total 5 year period.
UCLA conducted the same study, and their finding were almost identical The Average was 2.72 million crimes/year by Private citizens with firearms.
Both studies showed tht Police only stopped ~10,000crimes/year in progress the rest of the time, the police just cleaned up the mess once the crime was committed.
July 12, 2009 at 7:24pm
Time to vote them out, if they can not represent us they do not need to be in charge.
July 16, 2009 at 4:43pm
I say let's vote the ones out that just seem to do whatever they want and not the will of the people. Its TIME to take our government back to whats best for the people.
July 17, 2009 at 7:58am
I'm not in favor of guns in parks. I don't own a gun in my house. I protect my family with prayer and the Word of God. Say what you will, but it has worked for and my family. I believe that it will continue to work.
July 17, 2009 at 8:11am
Also, I'm sure there are plenty of others things the City Council vote on that I'm not in favor of. But, if I gripe and complain about everything they do it will either be time for me to run for office, vote for someone that I agree with more often, or simply move!!
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