H.B. 508 Would Allow Out-of-State Special Interest Groups to Sue Tennessee Cities that Enforce or Adopt Local Solutions to Reduce Gun Violence at Taxpayers’ Expense; Bill Heads to Senate Next
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement denouncing the Tennessee House for passing House Bill 508, a bill that would threaten public safety throughout the state by allowing out-of-state special interest groups and trial lawyers to sue Tennessee cities that attempt to enforce or adopt local solutions to reduce gun violence in their communities, at the expense of taxpayers. The bill unnecessarily punishes local officials for trying to do their jobs and maintaining public safety. The bill still needs to be voted on in the Senate.
This bill would 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. The city or town could be liable for the greatest possible amount of attorney’s fees, damages and court costs at the expense of taxpayers if they do not comply.
STATEMENT FROM LINDA MCFADYEN-KETCHUM, VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE TENNESSEE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“House Bill 508 inexplicably aims to punish our cities and towns for trying to keep us safe, and yet today our leaders in the House chose to side with special interest groups instead of voting to protect the people and communities they were elected to serve. It’s simple: this bill aims to line the pockets of out-of-state groups with our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. If H.B. 508 moves forward in the Senate and is ultimately signed into law, the only outcome here is a more dangerous Tennessee where, at the most local level, our mayors’ and police chiefs’ hands will be further tied. Tennesseans know best when it comes to keeping our state safe, and our towns and cities shouldn’t have to worry about an onslaught of frivolous lawsuits when they are trying to do their jobs. Gun violence is a deadly problem that kills more than 90 Americans every day and injures hundreds more and we should be doing everything we can to reduce it – not passing laws that punish those who try. Tennessee Moms and gun safety advocates across the state urge our lawmakers in the Senate to vote against this dangerous bill and protect both our safety and Tennessee’s autonomy.”