Heading into law this Friday is Tennessee’s Senate Bill 1736, which will put into action something gun owners have been encouraging for years.
The law aimed to enact a “duty of care” on any person who posts their property as a gun-free zone, making them responsible for the safety of any handgun carry permit holder while the permit holder is on the posted premises as well as while during their travel to and from the premises and the location where the permit holder’s firearm is stored.
Can you imagine? Holding gun-free zone property accountable for injuries people sustained by being disarmed and left defenseless? Groundbreaking.
…and this is why we need lobbyists:
UPDATE: In the course of researching the Wisconsin legislation one of our readers wrote in the comments, I had a discussion with a friend of mine at the NRA where he opened up the TN bill and into the fray we went.
When SB 1736 was passed, politicians did so after adding a single amendment which, interestingly enough, scrubbed the entire bill by “deleting all language after the enacting clause”.
Why pass a bill with an amendment that changes the entire bill? Well, government pretty much ruins everything, don’t they?
But, dear patriots, the amended legislation still goes into law today and instead of doing what the original bill intended (because that would just be way too easy), they flipped it on it’s head by encouraging businesses to welcome concealed carriers by shielding them from liability.
(a) A person, business, or other entity that owns, controls, or manages property and has the authority to prohibit weapons on that property by posting, pursuant to § 39- 17-1359, shall be immune from civil liability with respect to any claim based on such person’s, business’s, or other entity’s failure to adopt a policy that prohibits weapons on the property by posting pursuant to § 39-17-1359.
(b) Immunity under this subsection (a) does not apply to a person, business, or other entity whose conduct or failure to act is the result of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
So instead of defending everyone’s right to carry as originally proposed, the law protects businesses who have the option to post gun-free signs but choose not by making them immune from civil liability.
But guess what? As my original article states, businesses who are not required to post as a gun-free zone but choose to do so can still be sued by concealed carry permit holders for stripping them of their right to carry.
Yeah, that happened…
So much ado about nothing except that once again, we got a front row seat to yet another example of how our government is a hot mess… and a reminder on just how much we need the NRA to stand up for our gun rights.