H.B. 508 Would Allow Out-of-State Special Interests Groups to Sue Tennessee Cities That Enforce or Adopt Local Solutions to Gun Violence, at Taxpayers’ Expense
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee voted to advance H.B. 508, a bill that allow out-of-state special interests groups and trial lawyers to sue Tennessee cities that attempt to enforce or adopt solutions to reduce gun violence in their communities, unnecessarily punishing local officials for trying to do their jobs.
This measure would also require the courts to award out-of-state groups court costs, as well as the greatest amount of actual damages or three times the attorney’s fees possible. All costs and damages being paid at the expense of taxpayers. Additionally, H.B. 508 would force Tennessee cities and towns to allow guns into government offices, certain recreational facilities and other public buildings unless the implemented expensive security systems.
STATEMENT FROM LINDA MCFADYEN-KETCHUM, VOLUNTEER WITH THE TENNESSEE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“I am disheartened that our lawmakers voted to advance an expensive bill that would ultimately punish Tennesseans for seeking solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities. Plain and simple, H.B. 508 would allow out-of-state special interests groups to pocket taxpayers’ dollars while punishing our officials for trying to address the gun violence that kills over 90 Americans and injures hundreds more everyday. This unprecedented damages award would encourage frivolous lawsuits that would force cities and towns to incur tremendous litigation expenses – all at the taxpayers expense. What’s more, H.B. 508 carries the prospect of effectively forcing guns into local public buildings, but it still remains unclear even to our lawmakers exactly which buildings and events would be forced to allow guns on their premises. We urge our lawmakers to stand with us and oppose this costly bill.”