Owners of “gun-free” businesses in Tennessee beware- you’re now responsible for the protection of your patrons.
The Volunteer State passed a new law that amends a state code, making business owners who post “no guns allowed” signs responsible -and legally liable- for their patrons’ safety, opening up the potential for lawsuits if a violent act occurs.
According to Bearing Arms, the new law goes into effect July 1st, and allows handgun carry permit holders to sue the entity or individual who sued them of their right to carry in a “gun-free zone” if aforementioned permit holder is injured, killed or incurs loss due to property damages in the aftermath of a violent crime.
The law enacts a “duty to care” on any person who designates their property a “gun-free zone,” as well as the travel to and from the location where the firearm must be stowed. The statute of limitations is within two years of the event and requires the defendant be authorized to carry at time of incident, was prohibited to carry in the establishment and that the property owner posted the “no guns” sign at their own discretion (i.e, the property owner is not bound by law to ban guns from the premises).
“It only makes sense that when a property owner creates a gun free zone, the be responsible for protecting individuals within that zone,” Tennessee State Senator Mark Green (R) told LEO Affairs. Green is also one of the founders of the state’s “Blue Lives Matter” initiative, which would increase the penalties for offenders convicted of assaults on officers.
Tennessee’s “no guns allowed” signs carry the full weight of the law, with hefty legal issues sure to arise if the law is disobeyed. In addition, Tennessee allows carry in bars, so long as the carrier does not consume any alcohol.
In addition to making “gun-free zone” proprietors liable for the safety of disarmed patrons, Tennessee also passed a law that allows veterans with proof of service to get their concealed carry permits without taking the required class.
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