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
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 Senate’s passage of H.B. 508. H.B. 508 would threaten 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. The bill will head to Governor Haslam’s desk next.
If signed into law, H.B. 508 would 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 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.
STATEMENT FROM LINDA MCFADYEN-KETCHUM, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE TENNESSEE CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“By passing House Bill 508, our elected leaders in the Tennessee legislature failed to do what’s right and instead bowed to special interests. This bill would do nothing more than line the pockets of out-of-state special interest groups with our hard-earned taxpayer dollars, while also further tying the hands of our mayors and police chiefs attempting to do their level best to keep us safe. H.B. 508 would not make us safer – rather it would stand to put our communities and families at greater risk. Our local leaders shouldn’t have to worry that searching for solutions to make Tennessee safer from gun violence will result in punishment or an onslaught of expensive lawsuits. On average, more than 90 Americans are shot and killed, and hundreds more are shot and injured, every single day. We should all aspire to do more to reduce this senseless violence – not penalize brave officials and bold localities that try to do their part. I, along with moms across our state, hope that when the time comes, Governor Haslam will do what’s right for Tennessee and veto this irresponsible bill that threatens our safety and Tennessee’s autonomy.”