The Chattanooga Times Free Press calls Haslam "spineless" in its editorial:
Willfully leading the state into such Wild West territory, of course, would be a reckless and gross abuse of public policy. Current state firearms laws, though weaker than those of many states, at least provide a semblance of public oversight to weed out felons and the unstable. It also requires applicants to pass a gun-safety course.
In an era when the extreme gun-rights crowd — a fraction of Tennessee’s citizenry — has already persuaded the Legislature to allow gun-carry by permit-holders in parks, restaurants and bars that serve alcohol half the night, Tennessee needs a governor willing to stand as a voice of reason.
If Haslam as governor would sign anything the legislature passes, what other opportunities to lead would he forfeit? Is he so malleable that he would never take what might be an unpopular stand?