Knxoville Police Threaten to Arrest Tennessee Handgun Permit Holders

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Knxoville Police Threaten to Arrest Tennessee Handgun Permit Holders Who Ask If They Can Enter Chilhowee Park Armed
Tennessee Firearms Association
Tennessee Firearms Association

USA -(AmmoLand.com)- Members of the Tennessee Firearms Association have sued Knoxville claiming that the city illegally banned handgun permit holders from attending the 2015 State Fair that was being held in Chilhowee Park.

TFA members claimed that following a change in the law in 2015, local governments like Knoxville lack the legal authority under a new amendment to a state law (TCA 39-17-1311 and TCA 39-17-1314) to prohibit handgun permit holders from carrying their otherwise legally possessed handguns in a public park. The lawsuit seeks to have Knoxville's gun ban policy declared illegal under state law.

The city has challenged the lawsuit by claiming in a motion to dismiss the complaint that the plaintiffs have not “alleged an actual injury, such as being arrested, fined or even turned away by police …” The city claims that without such actual harm — i.e., being arrested — the plaintiffs, even as Tennessee citizens, have no standing to question whether the city was violating state law.

On September 13, 2016, seven TFA members approached Chilhowee Park near Gate 8 in the early evening to ask at least three different Knoxville police officers stationed there if they would be arrested if they entered the park as handgun permit holders in possession of their firearms. Three times they were told that they would be arrested even after disclosing that they had state issued handgun permits. The incident was recorded and observed by several witnesses. Specifically, Ray and Kimberly Bergeron discussed the matter with Knoxville Police Department's deputy chief of patrol, Monty Houk, as they stood outside the gate to the fairgrounds.

Officer Houk confirmed to them that they would be subject to arrest on a charge of criminal trespassing if they violated Knoxville's ban of firearms in Chilhowee Park. The discussion was video taped. When the risk of imminent arrest was clearly threatened by law enforcement, the TFA members politely thanked the Officer for his assistance and clarification and left peaceably – despite having their 2nd Amendment rights intentionally violated by the City of Knoxville.

“It is a travesty that Knoxville apparently did not admit to the trial court that it had established a policy to arrest citizens who have handgun permits and who desired to enter Chilhowee Park so that it became necessary to have a group of our members go back out to the park with video cameras, witnesses, their handgun permits, their firearms, and purchase tickets just to stand outside the park and ask the Knoxville Police officers stationed there what would happen if they entered Chilhowee Park,” said John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association. “Government actions like this is why so many Tennesseans are increasingly frustrated with local and state government and are searching for alternatives to the traditional, career politicians who think that they are above the law.”

“The courts should intervene and protect the constitutional rights of Tennesseans particularly when the state has by law denied any authority to local governments to ban firearms in public Parks,” said Harris. “Further, Tennessee's Legislature perhaps should expend a little more time making sure that citizens have the capacity to enforce their consittutional rights when infringed by local governments without having to do so from a jail cell.”

About Tennessee Firearms Association:

The Tennessee Firearms Association is dedicated to defending the right to keep and bear arms and promoting the responsible use, ownership and carrying of firearms.

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Phillip EvansJohn CarrhippybikerDAN IIItomcat Recent comment authors
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Phillip Evans
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Phillip Evans

I spoke with Knoxville Police yesterday, and the female officer got quite emotional and hung up the phone on me.

Their plan is to prevent open carriers from entering, because they are AFRAID to arrest anyone. CALL THEIR BLUFF!

Go in concealed to the Fair and then switch to Open Carry in a restroom stall (don’t let anyone see you touch your firearm, so as to not give them any reason to detain or arrest).

Then, politely decline to disarm or leave. Force the issue into their court. If arrested, you can sue.

John Carr
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John Carr

Just think, when Hag-Hillary becomes President we won’t have discussions like this one. We will no longer have guns (NOT)

Phillip Evans
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Phillip Evans

I have recorded audio of Memphis Police threatening me with arrest earlier this year at the Memphis Zoo while openly carrying my holstered pistol. It’s a public zoo on public property used for recreational purposes, something covered under the new “Guns in Parks” law.

However, because it’s managed by a private company, the police claim it is “private property”. The TN Attorney General’s opinion has made it clear that public property is not transformed into “private property” in this manner.

Theses stupid and arrogant local officials and politicians thumbing their noses at state law is disgusting.

Phillip Evans
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Phillip Evans

The law is pretty clear on guns in public parks, and the TN Attorney General has issued an opinion that a private lessee does not transform public property into “private property”. So here’s what you folks need to do: 1. Conceal Carry to get into the Chilhowee Fair (there should be no metal detectors) 2. Discreetly switch to Open Carry in a restroom stall. 3. Politely decline to disarm, and assert your RIGHTS. I spoke with Knoxville Police today and their plan is to keep out firearm carriers. The officer was rather upset at my assertion of state law. The… Read more »

hippybiker
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hippybiker

Too bad that Shannon and Chris didn’t have a gun when those SNBs raped, sodomised them and murdered them in cold blood.

DAN III
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DAN III

“No standing”. This is the catch all defense that the scoundrels of government use to further their actions of tyranny. Simply defined “no standing” means the plaintiff was not harmed. Thus, the plaintiff has to justification to his complaint. It is utter bull dung.

tomcat
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tomcat

The mayor of Knoxville is a democrat and an anti gun female. Does that explain the problem?

Tionico
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Tionico

There is no question that the hooh hahs “in charge” of the City of Knoxville, TN, have violated state law in placing these restrictions on the right to bear arms which is preserved by state law. If the lower court tossed the legal action because of “lack of standing” the plaintiffs need to appeal higher up. If state law precludes Knoxville’s actions, THAT in itself is a harm, and a harm which is actionable. Perhaps the lawmakers in Tennessee need to up the ante a bit….. any lesser level of government, or government official, attempting to restrict the rights of… Read more »

WFA
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WFA

Let’s see if I have the “logic” correct: If you obey the law, you have no standing to question the law in court? If that’s true, “blacks” attending segregated schools illegally challenged “separate, but equal”.

Joe Rhodes
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Joe Rhodes

While I get where you’re coming from, the theory is you need to show an injury of some kind economic, legal, something. In the case of blacks, the schools may have been separate but were rarely equal. Usually to the blacks detriment, but occasionally whites when the black school had exceptional teachers, and I’ve known some it was a privilege to learn under. The injury in this case was as simple as restraint of movement and economic from loss of tickets purchased.. Just right off the bat. Also remember that threats are assaults if a reasonable person can believe them… Read more »

Jim Macklin
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Jim Macklin

When Kansas passed concealed carry back in 2006 the Kansas League of Municipalities advised cities to ban licensed carry on any city owned property, meaning public streets, sidewalks, parks and golf courses. This was even before any licenses were issued. The first licenses were issued in January 2007. When the Legislature met in first session of 2007 they immediately wrote and passed HB 2528 [ http://www.kansas.gov/government/legislative/supplemental/2008/SN2528.pdf ] It specifically removed all local governments power to regulate against the state law. It included a provision that made the no gun signs being posted part of the law. The initial concealed carry… Read more »

Larry Kelley Jr.
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Larry Kelley Jr.

So before you were able to conceal carry, but now you can’t . I live in Des Moines Iowa and we can not carry at our state fair here. But we can have Gun shows here witch is great, then you can carry but the weapon has to be unloaded.

2War Abn Vet
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2War Abn Vet

That last bit would only make marginal sense if no ammo was available for sale at gun shows.