Haslam sticks to his guns in banning firearms at Capitol

Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he has no intention of changing his administration’s stance on barring handgun-carry permit holders from bringing their weapons into Tennessee’s state Capitol even though they will be allowed in the Cordell Hull Building where state legislators have offices and hold hearings, reports the Times Free Press.

“It’s not something that we’ll propose at all,” the Republican governor told reporters Monday. “It [Cordell Hull] is their building. They have full control of it and they get to decide to do that.”

“Again, our point would be that the Capitol would remain as it has in the past,” the governor said.

Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell, both Republicans, announced last week they would allow permit holders to carry firearms in Cordell Hull.

…Asked why he is opposed to guns in the Capitol, the governor said, “I think in the Capitol you literally have lots of tour groups, school children. [E]verybody is coming through there. But everybody’s coming through a metal director. I don’t see the need to change the policy that we have in place.”

The Legislative Plaza also has numerous visitors, including children.

As to whether it will cause confusion for permit holders allowed into Cordell Hull with weapons to be denied entry with their sidearms into the Capitol, Haslam said, “I know our safety folks are working on that now. How does that look like when you leave Cordell Hull and come here?”

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