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County talks state gun bills

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:19 PM

In its final meeting of the year, the Wilson County Legislative Ad Hoc Committee centered much of its discussion on recent bills regarding gun law changes.

One such bill, sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers that passed in the Senate earlier this week, revises the state’s handgun carry statutes to allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms openly without a permit as long as those firearms are legally owned and not concealed.

“I don’t have any problem with anybody defending themselves, defending their property, defending their homes, all that stuff,” said county attorney Mike Jennings, who attended the meeting. “I hear people say ‘I need to wear my gun if I’m in that restaurant and something breaks out.’ If I think something’s going to break out in that restaurant, I’m going to find some place else to eat.”

A second bill, regarding guns in parks, was also discussed.

Committee Co-Chair Eugene Murray said he discussed the bill with Sheriff Robert Bryan, as well as former Sheriff Terry Ashe.

“They did have one down there that talked about toting them in local parks regardless of the authorities. In other words, it took the authority away from the city of Lebanon and Wilson County to prohibit weapons in parks. I talked with Bryan and Ashe both, and they said it didn’t pass.”

Committee member Jeff Joines praised the committee, and said he found it interesting.

“It’s interesting to hear this stuff and put it out to the other commissioners,” Joines said. “It’s a very informative committee.”

Co-Chair Wendell Marlowe agreed.

“If I’m fortunate enough to be back on the commission and back on this committee; I want to start sooner. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Marlowe.

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