TN Senator Pushes Bill to Hold Businesses Liable for Injuries in Gun-Free Zones

Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Tennessee state Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) is pushing a bill to allow victims harmed in gun-free zones to sue those who instituted the zones if they can show they otherwise would have been armed for self-defense.

According to The Tennessean, Gresham’s bill allows “any Tennessean with a valid gun permit to sue a property owner in the event of injury or death provided the incident occurred while in a gun-free zone.”

Senate Bill 1736 helps business owners understand that by banning concealed carry on their property they undertake liability for concealed permit holders who are on the property unarmed. Business owners are responsible “to protect the gun owner from any incidents that occur with any ‘invitees,’ trespassers and employees found on the property, as well as vicious and wild animals and ‘defensible manmade and natural hazards.’”

Under Gresham’s bill, a concealed permit holder would have up to two years to file a suit after being injured, with the following provisions:

  • the plaintiff had to be authorized to carry a gun at the time of the incident
  • the plaintiff was prohibited from carrying a firearm because of the gun-free sign
  • the property owner was not required to be posted by state or federal law but was posted by choice of the defendant

Gresham’s bill does not cover individuals without concealed carry permits.

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