Nashville mayor asks Tennessee governor to veto pro-gun metal detector bill

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (Photo: WKRN)

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (Photo: WKRN)

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has asked Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to veto a bill that would require cities and counties to either implement more security measures at public facilities or allow handgun permit holders to carry their firearms.

In a letter sent to Haslam on May 11, Barry argues the legislation would “negatively impact local governments such as Nashville” by making them “either divert resources away from services or programs to pay for expensive metal detectors and security, or allow the carrying of weapons in public facilities,” the Tennessean reported.

The measure, House Bill 508, was passed earlier in May in the Tennessee Legislature. If signed into law, the legislation would require cities and counties to either install metal detectors and post security guards at public facilities or allow lawful gun owners with handgun permits to carry their firearms.

The bill, praised by the National Rifle Association, would also provide lawful gun owners with a private cause of action to challenge local firearms rules they feel are not being implemented properly.

Barry said she was particularly concerned about the bus stop at Music City Central, which is the city’s busiest public transportation hub.

“Our concern is for the safety of our traveling public, a large percentage of which are school age children,” the Democrat mayor said.

“In addition, we are concerned about provisions that would allow for the tripling of a plaintiff’s attorney’s fees for those challenging local government actions, as this may encourage frivolous lawsuits with the promise of a larger payout for attorneys.”

Haslam has not yet said whether or not he will sign the bill and could let it become law without his signature. He indicated his office is currently reviewing the legislation and that he will likely decide upon it this week.