H.B. 508 Will Allow Out-of-State Special Interest Groups to Sue Tennessee Cities that Enforce or Adopt Local Solutions to Reduce 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, responded today to Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to sign into law a dangerous gun bill. H.B. 508 threatens public safety throughout the state by allowing out-of-state special interest groups and trial lawyers to sue Tennessee cities, at taxpayer expense, if they attempt to enforce or adopt local solutions to reduce gun violence in their communities.
H.B. 508 will require courts to award these out-of-state special interest groups the greatest possible amount of triple attorney’s fees or actual damages, plus court costs – all at the expense of taxpayers. The bill will also force Tennessee cities and towns to allow guns into government offices, certain recreational facilities and other public buildings unless they implement expensive security systems.
Throughout the legislative session, volunteers with Tennessee Moms Demand Action testified against H.B. 508, met with their elected officials and drove nearly 2,000 calls and emails to lawmakers opposing this reckless policy.
STATEMENT FROM KENDRA STRAUB, A KNOXVILLE VOLUNTEER WITH THE TENNESSEE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Governor Haslam and the lawmakers who voted for this bill should be ashamed of themselves. Rather than support local cities that are seeking ways to reduce gun violence, they have bowed to the gun lobby and given a gift to out-of-state special interests that can now sue cities at taxpayer expense. Make no mistake, H.B. 508 is a giveaway to the gun lobby and has nothing to do with respecting Tennessee’s proud tradition of responsible gun ownership. On average, more than 90 Americans are shot and killed every day, with hundreds more injured. Tennesseans must strive to reduce this carnage, not penalize cities and towns that try to stop the bloodshed. Volunteers with Tennessee Moms Demand action expect more from our elected leaders.”