The state GOP is blazing away
at House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and the Democrats today for killing a couple of gun bills
—one to let Tennesseans carry pistols into saloons and another to make the names of handgun permit-holders secret.
“Our message is simple: Democrat House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and his anti-gun gang won’t pass legislation protecting your Second Amendment rights or your security, but Republicans will—if voters will give us majority control of the state House in the upcoming election,” state GOP chair Robin Smith says. “Gun owners and carry permit holders should target their votes and their campaign donations accordingly to ensure their rights in Tennessee.”
Reasonable people were against both bills, figuring (a) guns and saloons don't mix and (b) gunowners' names should be public so the media can check whether the state is giving permits to convicted felons. Channel 5's Phil Williams did a story in February that found the Safety Department wasn't even checking whether ex-cons were receiving permits, and many were. The GOP thinks people should go armed in saloons so they can shoot rowdy drunks if need be, and gun owners' names ought to be secret to protect against ID theft.
: I'm told it's not so much ID theft that worries the gun owners but that criminals could look up the names and know who's going armed.
: On his blog
, state GOP flack Bill Hobbs refers to Naifeh's "usual thuggish tactics."