No-Compromise Gun Group Hits Harwell, Haslam

Friday, December 20, 2013

 In response to House Speaker Beth Harwell's press conference this week outlining her 2014 legislative priorities, the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) said it is "demanding that Tennessee firearms owners have their voices heard during the next legislative session."

TFA's Executive Director John Harris said, "The lack of attention to firearms-related issues on the 2014 Republican-controlled legislative agenda did not go unnoticed.

"It is shameful that the Republican establishment leadership plans to continue ignoring the constitutionally protected rights of law abiding gun owners including the right to defend themselves and their families against criminals. The cold shoulder given to conservative grassroots groups, including TFA, shows a lack of constitutional leadership by those in power and is simply unacceptable." 

The group said, "Observers may conclude that Speaker Harwell is taking her anti-gun marching orders from Governor Haslam who was previously a member of 'Mayors Against Guns', an organization run by NYC's Mayor Bloomberg.  It does not go without notice that Governor Haslam was a member of Bloomberg's team up until he decided he wanted to run for the office of governor of Tennessee when he suddenly joined the NRA apparently thinking that was all he needed to do to make Tennesseans think that he had become a supporter of their constitutionally protected rights.

Mr. Harris said, "Obviously the sabotage to last year's 'safe commute' bill under the direction of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey needs to be repaired, but in coming weeks TFA will be announcing our 2014 legislative agenda to expand the rights of gun owners across Tennessee."

He said the 2013 'safe commute' bill was sponsored by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey "purportedly to allow employees to store firearms in their personal vehicles while at work. However the severely flawed bill may actually subject employees to certain liabilities, including termination and possibly criminal prosecution according to the TFA and a subsequent opinion by Tennessee's Attorney General.  TFA advised legislators in writing of significant flaws in the Ramsey bill and had assisted in writing corrective amendments but House leadership, acting under Speaker Harwell and Rep. McCormick, swiftly killed all the amendments without any substantive debate or consideration.

"The 'safe commute' issue has been debated at least five years in the Tennessee legislature and the issues should have been well known to most legislators.   This issue was one of the factors behind the TFA's efforts, in unison with several other grassroots groups, to successfully target and remove Rep. Debra Maggart, the former Republican Caucus Whip, during the 2012 Republican primary.   Maggart had made statements to TFA's leadership that Republican leadership in the General Assembly did not want to pursue firearms issues during election years because they felt that standing up for the rights of citizens under the Second Amendment would be bad for their chances to elect more Republicans.  

"From Speaker Harwell's statements this week, it appears that Republican leadership still continue to view the lives of citizens and their constitutionally protected rights as an issue having negative political significance and not matters of a high constitutional priority or even significant to the ability of citizens to defend themselves against criminals."

The Tennessee Firearms Association was founded in 1995 "to defend the right to keep and bear arms and to educate the citizenry on the responsible use, ownership and carrying of firearms. The TFA is Tennessee's only no-compromise gun group." 

McCormick Says Tax Increase Is Last Resort For Transportation Infrastructure

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick released the following statement to clarify previous remarks regarding transportation infrastructure funding: "I would like to take the opportunity to clarify my comments made to the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club yesterday regarding Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure. In no way am I advocating for our state to take on debt to fund ... (click for more)

Medical Examiner Changes Opinion In Case In Which Teen Lost Baby After Beating By Boyfriend

Hamilton County Medical Examiner Dr. James Metcalfe testified Tuesday that he had changed his findings in the death of a teen's foetus after she said she was beaten by her boyfriend. Dr. Metcalfe first listed the death of "Promise Jones" as a homicide due to blunt force injury.  He said he later determined that it could have been as the result of another cause - placental ... (click for more)

Why Chattanooga Should Stop Granting Apartment Complex PILOTs - And Response

A new report indicates why Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials do not need to extend PILOTs to apartment complex developers. Demand is high, therefore developers will continue to build to meet the demand without PILOTs. What is truly needed in the Chattanooga metroplex is low-income affordable housing. “Homeownership Drops to Lowest Level in Decades” ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Twenty-One, The Wolf

Carl Safina, who is a modern-day genius when it comes to animals and nature, entered my world earlier this week when I read a story he had written about a wolf. Twenty-one, as the wolf was known by his tag number in Yellowstone National Park, was surely the greatest wolf that ever lived. He was legendary in that he never lost a fight when other wolves would challenge his territory ... (click for more)

Dalton Edges Stuart Heights To Conclude Unbeaten Regular Season

The Dalton Dolphins had several key goals when the 2015 Chattanooga Area Swim League season began on the first day of June and they can put a big check mark by the first one, which was to go undefeated in the ever-competitive Blue division. They accomplished that goal before dark on Monday as they defeated a much-improved Stuart Heights squad by a 404-386 final that may have ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Hosts Nashville Friday In NPSL Playoffs

Chattanooga will host this weekend's National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference playoffs. There are two semifinal matches on Friday with the two winners meeting in the Championship match the following night. “We’re very proud of the team for winning home field advantage,” said board member Krue Brock. “Now that every game is a must-win situation, it will be a big help ... (click for more)