Tennessee Bill Allows Suits Over Gun-Free Zone Incidents

92% Of Mass Shootings Happen In Gun Free Zones

Gun free zones are bait for mass shooters. More and more businesses are posting gun free zones. You see it a lot in Texas which just allowed open carry. There is no way to prevent schools, colleges, theaters, restaurants, office buildings from creating gun free zones. But now in Tennessee,  a law is being proposed to make owners of gun free zones liable for injuries to legal gun carriers who have to give up their guns to enter their establishments. They would be liable for animals or humans, especially a shooter, who injure or kill a legal gun carrier who cannot carry in a gun free zone. So if this law passes, those in Tennessee who want to keep gun free zones better have security on site with guns to stop a mass shooter.

The Tennessean reports:

If a Tennessee grocery store bans guns on its property and a black bear or wild hog kills or injures a person who otherwise would be carrying his or her gun, the gun owner would be allowed to sue the property owner if a newly introduced bill became law.

Sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, Senate Bill 1736 has a very specific purpose.

“It is the intent of this section to balance the right of a handgun carry permit holder to carry a firearm in order to exercise the right of self-defense and the ability of a property owner or entity in charge of the property to exercise control over governmental or private property,” the bill states.

To accomplish that goal, the legislation allows any Tennessean with a valid gun permit to sue a property owner in the event of injury or death provided the incident occurred while in a gun-free zone.

The legislation places responsibility on the business or property owner of the gun-free area to protect the gun owner from any incidents that occur with any “invitees,” trespassers and employees found on the property, as well as vicious and wild animals and “defensible man-made and natural hazards.”

The bill does not define defensible man-made and natural hazards.

A handgun carry permit holder who is injured by any of the aforementioned would be able to file a lawsuit within two years of when the event occurred, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • the plaintiff had to be authorized to carry a gun at the time of the incident
  • the plaintiff was prohibited from carrying a firearm because of the gun-free sign
  • the property owner was not required to be posted by state or federal law but was posted by choice of the defendant

According to the language of the bill, the right to sue the property owner does not extend to individuals without gun permits.

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