Thursday, September 10, 2015

KNOXVILLE indicating it will IGNORE state law - URGENT CALL TO ACTION!

September 10, 2015

KNOXVILLE indicating it will IGNORE state law that allows handgun permit holders to carry in public parks!

The Tennessee Valley Fair has notified the public that the fair is posted, stating on page two of their Fair Guidebook: "Please note: no weapons of any kind are permitted at Chilhowee Park. All entrants are subject to search. . ." 

Chilhowee Park is owned by the City of Knoxville.  State of Tennessee now prohibits by law the City from regulating the possession of firearms in local parks based on a law passed in 2015 that is now in effect.

The Tennessee Attorney General issued a formal opinion concluding that a local government may not ban handgun permit holders from carrying their handguns in the public parks (with a limited exception that is not relevant to the fair).  Further, the AG concluded that the state law now prohibits an event that rents or uses the public park from banning firearms in the park. 

Tennessee Firearms Association member Liston Matthews has been in contact with Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch, who referred him to the Executive Director of the Fair, Scott Suchomski.  Mr. Suchomski clearly stated his unwillingness to modify the Fair's policy despite applicable state law.  This places permitted citizens at risk of arrest if they attempt to enter Chilhowee Park with their lawfully carried handgun.

Interestingly, it may also place at risk the City of Knoxville, Knox County and/or the Fair and their respective decision makes at risk of being sued for violating the civil rights of handgun permit holders under color of state law.

Please call and email your state senator, state representative, Governor Bill Haslam, Mayor Madeline Rogero, and City Law Director Charles Swanson.
Call on them to require the Tennessee Valley Fair to comply with state law since they are operating in a city park. Tell them you worked too hard to get this law passed for it to be ignored, possibly subjecting lawful permit holders to unlawful arrest.

Contact information:

Governor Bill Haslam

Mayor Madeline Rogero
(865) 215-2040

City Law Director Charles Swanson
(865) 215-2050

Go to this website and enter your street address to get the contact information for your senator and representative. Enter your street address and city to get their email addresses:

Click on their picture to get their phone number.

This same problem is arising in Memphis, Nashville and now Knoxville.  It is clear that these local governments are intentionally ignoring state law and apparently no one in the Haslam administration is going to step in to enforce state law, to investigate potential wholesale civil rights violations or to even seek a court order to enforce state law!

Even if you are not impacted by the Knoxville actions - it is an issue that should concern you and that must be attacked as a statewide affront to our rights as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment!  So, no matter what part of the state you are in - call and demand that state law be enforced and that our civil rights be honored!
You can join the Tennessee Firearms Association today to support this and other battles across the state!

In the fight for our Liberty

John Harris
TFA Volunteer Executive Director

P.S. Consider making a contribution to the TFALAC (TFA’s PAC) at These funds are used to help men and women who support the 2nd Amendment retain or win Senate and House seats.

Tennessee Firearms Association is a IRS Section 501(c)(4) advocacy entity and is not a charity. Tennessee Firearms Association Legislative Action Committee is a state political action committee. Contributions to TFALAC are not tax deductible for IRS purposes.

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