TN Bill Would Allow Guns in Businesses That Want to Be Gun-Free

Depending on where you are, gun-free zone signs on doors could either be very common or pretty rare. Either way, we've all seen them.

In some places, they're nothing more than a signal that the owner doesn't value your rights. You can still carry in those places and if they don't like it, they can ask you to leave.


In others, they have the force of law. Carrying in such places is a crime and you really don't want to risk it.

In Tennessee, there's a bill being debated to change the status quo from where the signs have legal force to one where it's just telling you what the owner thinks of your gun rights.

Nashville business leaders are assailing a proposed state law that would block businesses from imposing across-the-board no-weapons policies for patrons inside their establishments.

Senate Bill 2180/House Bill 1904 was set to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday but was delayed until Wednesday.

Currently, state law allows business owners to post signs prohibiting customers from carrying weapons inside. SB2180/HB1904 would override that, allowing business patrons with concealed carry or enhanced-handgun carry permits to keep their weapons when they walk into a business — starting July 1.

However, the proposal would allow business owners to confront customers "upon request" and tell them to take their weapons outside, the bill states. Anyone confronted by a business owner would be required to remove their firearm or other weapon from the premises.

For the record, this is the status quo in Georgia and there hasn't been an issue.

That said, I also value property rights, so if someone doesn't want me and my gun on their property, they have a right to exclude me. I don't have as big of an issue as many with gun-free signs on businesses having the force of law, so long as they're regulated in such a way that you can't miss them, though I don't think any business should do so.


I'll also acknowledge that we don't really allow someone to suspend customers' rights before they've even enter the building unless it's someone's gun rights.

I also think that if they don't want my money, I'd prefer they make that as obvious as possible rather than having some small sign stashed somewhere that it can be pointed to when convenient. Put a sign like that on the door and I appreciate you telling me to visit your competitors.

That said, I do believe that if someone disarms me by putting such a sign on the door, they should be liable for any injuries sustained because I couldn't defend myself.

Frankly, Tennessee is a pretty pro-gun state and this is one of the few things they can really do to open up the state even more. I respect it even if I value property rights, mostly because of how we treat other rights. Kick me out if you don't like me carrying, but don't tell me I can't enter your business simply because of your own hangups.

We'll see how far this bill goes, though, because it's still pretty early in the process.

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