Tennessee mulls removing control over guns in parks

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Community parks, playgrounds and sports fields are among the few areas in Tennessee where local governments can ban people with handgun carry permits from being armed. Now gun-friendly state lawmakers are looking to change that.

Republican Rep. Mike Harrison has introduced a bill to allow permit holders to carry guns in those places across the state. The bill advanced by voice vote in committee Wednesday.

When legislators first enacted a law to allow guns in parks in 2009, they allowed communities to opt out if they wished. More than 70 did. As a result, Harrison said, the state’s nearly 500,000 permit holders are confused about which parks are off-limits.

Opponents say the legislation is unnecessary and concerns some parents who worry about guns being present where their children are playing.