Leaders Want Guns Allowed At Tenn. Gen. Assembly

Posted at 4:30 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 19:39:32-05

Speakers of the Tennessee House and Senate said they want to allow people with handgun carry permits to be armed at the legislative office complex as soon as possible.

But the Tennessee Highway Patrol has put the brakes on the move while considering the security implications for both the Legislative Plaza and the state Capitol.

Governor Bill Haslam told NewsChannel 5 he has wanted to maintain the gun ban for the Capitol, calling it a "secure building."

"The Department of General Services has statutory authority on this issue. Further, there are logistical questions and complicating practical implications on lifting the gun ban in Legislative Plaza. The governor is willing to discuss those but feels strongly that guns are not carried in the Capitol. This is a secure building with state troopers and metal detectors," said Haslam.

Meanwhile, the head of the Department of General Services said it wasn't up to the tenants of Legislative Plaza to decide the gun policy. In Commissioner Bob Oglesby's words: "It's under our control."

About 536,000 Tennesseans have state-issued handgun carry permits.