Gun show at Chilhowee Park likely the last

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Sunday’s gun show at Chilhowee Park marks the last gun show of 2019, and quite possibly the last that will be held on Knoxville city-owned property.

RELATED: Chilhowee Park gun show goer: ‘I feel like they’re trying to take away our gun rights’

In September, Knoxville’s city council passed a resolution to ban gun shows at city-owned properties. There were mixed feelings about the resolution; some for, and some against.

Former Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero also supported the ban.

In order to keep the ban, the new mayor of Knoxville, Indya Kincannon, will have to recommit to it.

Mayor Kincannon giving WATE 6 On Your Side this statement on Sunday:

“I will continue the policy proposed and adopted earlier this year by City Council and Mayor Rogero to not allow new gun shows to be booked at City-owned facilities.”
“There are many places to purchase guns legally in Knoxville. This common-sense policy simply means that City properties won’t be among them.”
“I’d like to thank City Council, especially Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie, for their leadership on this issue.”

Mayor Indya Kincannon

Kincannon, then a mayoral candidate, told WATE 6 On Your Side in September she supported the resolution when city council had been considering it.

Professor Glenn Reynolds with the University of Tennessee College of Law released a statement to WATE 6 On Your Side regarding the legality of this issue:

“There is legal authority that such bans are unconstitutional, although it’s only from lower federal courts, not the Supreme Court. I think the city is vulnerable to an expensive lawsuit here, which it might very well lose. I should also note that the Tennessee Supreme Court has specifically said, in the case of Andrews v. State, that the right to bear arms under the Tennessee constitution includes the right to buy firearms, and to use them in all normal and lawful ways.”
” In addition, since there’s no actual public safety justification here — as Mayor Kincannon has admitted, there are lots of ways to legally buy a firearm without buying one on public property — this seems more like an attempt to marginalize the “gun culture.” That might raise issues of free speech or free association under the First Amendment, and the corresponding provisions of the Tennessee Constitution. Generally, if a city makes public property available for groups to use, it can’t discriminate based on the groups’ message or political leanings. “

Glenn Harlan Reynolds – Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law

WATE 6 On Your Side also received a press release from Rex Kehrli, CEO of R.K. Shows, regarding the “last gun show ever at Chilhowee Park”:

Rex Kehrli, CEO of R.K. Shows
Rex Kehrli, CEO of R.K. Shows
Rex Kehrli, CEO of R.K. Shows


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