Friday, October 25, 2019

No Guns Allowed: A Look at Local Gun Policies

Posted By on Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 2:13 PM


A Memphis Zoo guest accidentally shot himself in the leg Tuesday near the zoo entrance. The guest sustained a non-fatal wound and no one else was hurt from the incident, but zoo officials have since said they are reviewing its gun policy.

Currently, the zoo allows concealed weapons, but guests are required to check in at the front gate and present a gun permit.

Now, that policy will change, Nick Harmeier, the zoo’s chief marketing officer said. Input for that new policy will have to come from the city and state, he said.

Harmeier said since the arrival of the zoo’s new CEO, Jim Dean in April, “we’re doing a lot of different things at the zoo in general right now. Our new CEO came in and he’s making quite a bit of changes.

Harmeier said the gun policy “would not have been looked at on the front end, but what happened this week definitely sparked us to say ‘hey this is something we really need to dig into.”

“We’ve been ahead of the situation, where as a public space you’re always trying to look at the what ifs,” Harmeier said. “At the end of the day our number one priority is to have a safe space for families.”

Here’s a look at the gun policies for some other places around town:

Children’s Museum of Memphis: CMOM does not allow guns on the property.

National Civil Rights Museum: Weapons, including sharp objects longer than 2.5 inches long, are not permitted in the museum.

Brooks Museum of Art: There is no mention of weapons in the museum's visitor safety and security guidelines or listed under prohibited items.

FedExForum: Weapons of any type, including guns and knives are prohibited.

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium: Weapons of any type, including guns and knives are prohibited in the stadium.

AutoZone Park: Weapons of any kind are prohibited.

Beale Street: Knives, guns, and other weapons are not allowed on the street.

Crosstown Concourse: Possession of firearms is prohibited.

Bass Pro Shop at the Pyramid: Guests are asked to check their firearms at the entrance of the store, where a trigger lock is applied and the chamber is emptied.

City-owned public places: “It shall be the intent of the city government to exercise its statutory option to opt out of any state law that would otherwise authorize the carrying of firearms on public parks, playgrounds, civic centers and other public recreational buildings and grounds,” reads a city ordinance on weapons.

State Parks: Guns are permitted

Rhodes College: The college “strictly prohibits possession of weapons of any type by students, employees, or visitors, including but not limited to firearms, B-B guns, pellet guns, bows and arrows, hunting knives, explosives, or any object that could be used as a deadly weapon.”

However, those with a valid handgun carry permit can store firearms and ammunition in their vehicles on campus.

University of Memphis: Possessing or carrying a firearm on the campus is prohibited except for by authorized employees with a valid handgun carry permit. Still, per state law, authorized employees are prohibited from carrying a firearm in plain sight, to university sponsored events, disciplinary or tenure meetings, or the university medical clinic. Part-time employees are completely prohibited from possessing a firearm anywhere on campus.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center: Students are not permitted to carry a concealed handgun. Employees with a valid handgun carry permit can store firearms and ammunition in their vehicles on campus. Additionally, full-time employees with handgun permits may carry guns on campus except where prohibited by state law.

Tennessee Gun Laws

Tennessee is a one of 41 “shall issue” states, which means so long as an applicant reaches the basic requirements set out by the state, they can be issued a handgun permit.

In Tennessee:

• No permit, background check, or firearm registration is required when buying a handgun from a private individual.

• Open carry is legal for residents over 18 years old with or without a permit as long as the gun is unloaded and there is no ammunition in the immediate vicinity.

• Concealed carry is permitted with a license or permit for residents at least 21 years old. To receive a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit, residents must complete a state-approved handgun safety course that includes classroom and hands-on training.

• Beginning in January, applicants will be able to obtain a permit that allows them to carry handguns open or concealed by taking an online class only.

• It’s legal to have a handgun open or concealed in a private vehicle without a permit.

• Even if there is a “No Weapons” sign at a location, there is no legal penalty for entering with handgun unless asked to leave.

• Guns are not allowed in correctional facilities, schools (unless authorized), public parks, playgrounds, civic centers or other buildings owned and operated by the city or state government.

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