Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Knoxville, mayor sued over gun ban

The Park!
Wait, so the plaintiff is scared to go to the Tennessee Valley Fair because she can't bring her gun.

But she will go to the same park for a gun show because they have armed security.

And yet the fair has armed Knoxville Police Department officers serving as security.

Yeah, makes a lot of sense.

Whatever. It was bound to happen. Here ya go:

A Loudon County woman has sued the city of Knoxville and Mayor Madeline Rogero after local leaders declined to allow guns inside Chilhowee Park during September’s Tennessee Valley Fair.

The LAWSUIT, filed Wednesday in Knox County Circuit Court on behalf of Pandora Vreeland, requests that the court issue a declaratory judgement to allow those with valid carry permits to "possess their firearms" inside the park.

The lawsuit says Vreeland "could not safely attend" the fair since she was not allowed to bring her gun.

"Because Mrs. Vreeland is unable to carry her firearm as permitted under state law, she will not be going to any future events other than gun shows, which have armed security and are generally quite safe events . . . ."

Vreeland also noted that "gun free zones are uniquely susceptible to violent crime."

The lawsuit was not unexpected. Attorneys suggested last week they were preparing litigation.

At issue is a Tennessee law that says someone with a gun carry permit can bring a weapon into a state or city park so long as it’s not close to a school. City leaders and fair operators, however, said the law does not apply to the fair.

They noted that the park is an “entertainment and public” facility, so the law – signed by Gov. Hill Haslam in April – does not apply.

During the fair, no one challenged the ban at the gate, according to Rogero. Several people were found to have weapons. They put them away before entering the fair, according to Rogero.

Rogero said fair organizers also had asked that gun-carriers be prohibited from bringing weapons into the fair.

"Chilhowee Park, although its name would indicate it's a park, it's really not a park," Knoxville Law Director Charles Swanson told WBIR 10News in September. "You will see on our website we have a list of 81 parks that our Parks and Rec Department maintains, and Chilhowee Park is not one of those."

The Knoxville Police Department provides security for the 10-day event.

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