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In Tennessee: Gun Free Zone at your own risk

A bill signed into law goes into effect tomorrow. Essentially, the bill allows any person who has a carry permit and is injured in a place that posts “no gun” signs to sue the owner. This could make those who post such signs rethink that decision.

Update: Seems I got all excited and didn’t read amendment 1. This bill doesn’t exactly work that way, despite its intro. Rather, the bill grants immunity to those who do not post a no gun sign. See comments below by Wizard and Rickn8or:

Yes, Quoting John Harris’ remarks on Tennessee Firearms Association on Facebook:
WARNING!!!!

There are posts all over FB tonight about SB1736 going into effect this week. That bill, as introduced, would have made a business owner liable if they banned permit holders from carrying on their property. That bill was gutted and rewritten to remove the provisions making the property owners liable for disarming lawful gun owners.

The “crap” that was substituted (with Sen. Brian Kelsey’s name on it) is in the following language that did pass:

SECTION 1.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13, is amended by adding the following as a new section:

(a) A person, business, or other entity that owns, controls, or manages property and has the authority to prohibit weapons on that property by posting, pursuant to 39-17-1359, shall be immune from civil liability with respect to any claim based on such person’s, business’s, or other entity’s failure to adopt a policy that prohibits weapons on the property by posting pursuant to 39-17-1359.

(b) Immunity under this subsection (a) does not apply to a person, business, or other entity whose conduct or failure to act is the result of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

http://share.tn.gov/sos/acts/109/pub/pc0947.pdf

Once again, Tennesseans have been deceived and cheated by Establishment Republicans in public office… starting with Brian Kelsey and aided by Sen. Dolores Gresham who apparently accepted the amendment and let it be carried in her name.

The new law makes absolutely no sense to me; let the business owner, etc. off the hook because they didn’t post??

15 Responses to “In Tennessee: Gun Free Zone at your own risk”

  1. wizardpc Says:

    I’d like to take credit for this 🙂

  2. wizardpc Says:

    Wait. No. This is the exact opposite of what I thought it was.

  3. wizardpc Says:

    http://share.tn.gov/sos/acts/109/pub/pc0947.pdf

    Grants immunity to businesses that DO NOT post

  4. rickn8or Says:

    Yes, Quoting John Harris’ remarks on Tennessee Firearms Association on Facebook:
    WARNING!!!!

    There are posts all over FB tonight about SB1736 going into effect this week. That bill, as introduced, would have made a business owner liable if they banned permit holders from carrying on their property. That bill was gutted and rewritten to remove the provisions making the property owners liable for disarming lawful gun owners.

    The “crap” that was substituted (with Sen. Brian Kelsey’s name on it) is in the following language that did pass:

    SECTION 1.
    Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13, is amended by adding the following as a new section:

    (a) A person, business, or other entity that owns, controls, or manages property and has the authority to prohibit weapons on that property by posting, pursuant to 39-17-1359, shall be immune from civil liability with respect to any claim based on such person’s, business’s, or other entity’s failure to adopt a policy that prohibits weapons on the property by posting pursuant to 39-17-1359.

    (b) Immunity under this subsection (a) does not apply to a person, business, or other entity whose conduct or failure to act is the result of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

    http://share.tn.gov/sos/acts/109/pub/pc0947.pdf

    Once again, Tennesseans have been deceived and cheated by Establishment Republicans in public office… starting with Brian Kelsey and aided by Sen. Dolores Gresham who apparently accepted the amendment and let it be carried in her name.

    The new law makes absolutely no sense to me; let the business owner, etc. off the hook because they didn’t post??

  5. SayUncle Says:

    Well, that’s quite the clusterfuck. Post updated.

  6. Fred Says:

    If you don’t post your not liable. So it will have to go to court for liability to be established (I’m not lawyers) I think. So somebody will have to get shot in a gun free zone and be the test case, oh goody.

  7. nk Says:

    A property owner should have the right to allow or not allow guns on his property and not be sued for either choice. If you don’t like his choice, just don’t go there.

    If you are pro-RKBA and see the sign just turn right around (which is what I do even though I am not carrying). If you are anti-gun and don’t see the sign, go look for a business that has one.

    Election season. Meh.

  8. Fred Says:

    Related:

    http://www.9news.com/news/local/aurora-theater-trial/cinemark-asks-theater-shooting-victims-to-pay-for-legal-fees/260688004

  9. JTC Says:

    Man, that’s clear as mud, like most gov gobbledygook. But, in spite of the negatively-couched language, isn’t it a good thing?

    IOW, if this passage “(immunity from claims for)failure to adopt a policy that prohibits weapons on the property…” instead read “(immunity from claims for) choosing not to prohibit legally carried weapons on the property…” doesn’t that just take the third-party “entity” out of the equation and let the law operate as it would anywhere else?

    Being in biz for decades and having seen (but fortunately not experienced) the insanity of extended liability, I voiced opposition to restricting a private “entity’s” right to make policy, and if that policy is to restrict carry, letting the market decide if that policy is unacceptable and to withhold patronage if so.

    So if the entity can make its policy a non-policy, to not prohibit, to allow normal and legal activity on its premise just as on the street outside, and to be exempted from liability for allowing that freedom, sounds like a win for all concerned, language of the statute using the term “failure” rather than “choice” notwithstanding.

    Am I not grokking something here?

  10. SPQR Says:

    I think this is a good improvement over status quo. It removes any argument from a business’s insurer that they must post.

  11. wizardpc Says:

    SPQR:
    That was already part of 39-17-1359.

  12. rickn8or Says:

    wizardpc, reading this new section and section (c) has me believing they say exactly opposite things.

    But yeah put up your sign; me, my handgun and my money will more than happily stay out of your store.

  13. mikee Says:

    So as I read it, a business owner will avoid claims from people injured onsite, presumably by law-abiding gun owners with carry permits, as permit holders are the only persons affected by the signage (there or not).

    In other words, this is demonization of legal, permitted carry and does little else.

  14. wizardpc Says:

    Just to recap:

    The original bill was something that I have been asking pretty much every lawmaker I come in to contact with for since 2006. It would have made the person responsible for creating a gun-free zone liable for anything that happened to someone with a carry permit while that permitee was in their gun-free zone.

    I love the concept, because what it says is “If you think a sign will stop bad things from happening, go ahead and put up the sign. But if you’re wrong, you’re going to pay.” So either they believe in the magical power of a sign or they don’t.

    But during the Senate Judiciary Cmte meeting, it was amended to completely rewrite the bill. The new version, instead of saying “you’re responsible if you disarm your customers and bad things happen to them” it said “you’re NOT responsible if you DON’T disarm your customers and something bad happens to them.”

    TCA 39-17-1359, which talks about posting, already says :

    (b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter, reduce or eliminate any civil or criminal liability that a property owner or manager may have for injuries arising on their property.

    So now we have a situation where we’ve eliminated liability for places that don’t post, and then extended that immunity to places that DO post with 1359 saying posting cannot alter your liability.

    IANAL, YMMV, OMGWTFBBQ.

  15. Matthew Carberry Says:

    This is a good law. It protects the -good guys-, the non-posting businesses.

    Cui bono? Read it again carefully and think about who would be suing whom, and why.

    As written it protects property owners who *could* post, but who choose *not* to, from liability. That is, businesses which choose to -allow- carry.

    So, who are those businesses? Three kinds: those somehow unaware that they can post, those against carry but who want carrier’s business, and *pro-carry* businesses.

    Now, who would sue if they were injured in a place which *could* post “no carry” but chose *not* to post, and thus -allowed- carry? Would any of us? Choose to sue a business for *not* posting? Really?

    Only one kind, an “anti-carry” person.

    “Pro-carry” people, people like us, appreciate being allowed to carry and wouldn’t sue the store owner who at least allowed them the chance to fight back. Right?

    Only an “anti-carry” customer would try to punish a business, which chose to allow carry, for allowing carry. We should -support- laws like this which protect non-posting, pro-carry businesses from suits by anti-carry fanatics.