Bredesen vetoes bill to allow guns in bars
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 8:01 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday vetoed a renewed effort to allow Tennessee handgun carry permit holders to bring their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
The Democratic governor said in a letter to Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville that he based his decision on a principle he learned more than 50 years ago in a safety course sponsored by the National Rifle Association: “Guns and alcohol don’t mix.”
The NRA has been a vocal supporter of the guns in bars measure passed in Tennessee the last two years.
Bredesen vetoed a similar measure last year, flanked by law enforcement officers and prosecutors who opposed the bill, but he was easily overridden by the Legislature. It only takes a simple majority in both chambers to turn back a veto.
“The General Assembly has essentially re-passed last year’s legislation in an even more expansive and dangerous form,” Bredesen said in the letter. “For this reason, I cannot sign this measure into law.”
Ramsey, who is running for governor, said he expects the Senate to vote to override the veto next week.
“We overrode the veto once, I’m sure we can do it again,” Ramsey said. “This is much ado about nothing.”
Democratic Sen. Beverly Marrero of Memphis said she supports the governor’s veto.
“The majority of people in this state really don’t want people in bars with guns,” she said. “Unfortunately there’s a large group of people up here that will probably override the governor’s veto.”
Published in The Messenger 5.19.10