Bar manager asks Gov. Bill Lee to veto Dallas' Law

Tammy Barrett and Dallas 'DJ' Barrett
Posted at 12:42 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 22:08:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A bar manager is asking Gov. Bill Lee to veto "Dallas' Law."

The law would require security guards at bars to receive a CPR certification and de-escalation training. It would also require bouncers to receive background checks.

This comes after a medical examiner said Barrett died from not being able to breathe following a fight with security at Whiskey Row on Broadway.

Witness video shows Barrett unresponsive after a fight with security.

According to an email sent to NewsChannel5 by Kevin Teets Jr., he's calling the law a "knee-jerk reaction" to a recent event.

"This bill places a price tag of nearly $27 million on businesses operating in the hospitality, services and food and beverages industries across the state of Tennessee, to businesses of all sizes, many of whom have struggled enough financially," the email said.

Seth Thomas — the bar manager at Canvas Lounge — is concerned it will be costly for their small business too.

"After us coming out of the pandemic, a lot of us are still recovering," Thomas said.

He fears that bars could get suspended for 30 days if guards don't comply.

"It would absolutely devastate us,” Thomas said.

However, NewsChannel5 talked to those who are familiar with the bill who said that isn't true. If a security guard doesn't get trained, their punishment is they can't work, according to the bill. They said it doesn't close down the bar.

Dallas' mom, Tammy Barrett, is upset about the concerns.

"It makes no sense to me, that’s absolutely crazy. It’s like a towing company who doesn’t pay attention to when their tags expire," Barrett said.

She believes bouncers will be able to save lives if they're trained in CPR.

“Had they been trained, quite possibly, Lord willing, my son would still be alive," Barrett said.

Tammy hopes this is just a hiccup, and that Governor Lee will still sign off on Dallas' Law.

Several security guards and a bar patron have been indicted for Dallas Barrett's death. Four of the guards involved were not licensed according to the state.