A bill was introduced in the Tennessee Senate that would allow gun owners to sue for injuries sustained while in a gun-free zone if the injury could have been prevented had the person been armed.
Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham introduced the bill, SB-1736, for this stated 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.
The bill, if passed into law, will allow any Tennessean with a valid handgun permit to sue property owners for injury or death that occurs within a gun-free zone.
The right to sue does not extend to individuals who do not have a permit to carry a weapon.
The Tennessean reported:
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
The duty is placed on the property owner of a gun-free zone to protect his customers from death or injury — including by wild animals.
We often hear that deaths could have been prevented — or at least mitigated — after mass shootings that occur in gun-free zones. This bill answers that problem, and may result in fewer business owners declaring their premises gun-free.
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