Special committee strips Capitol complex from gun bill

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It took Tennessee lawmakers about an hour to come up with a tentative compromise today on the controversial guns in parks bill, but the final details are still being officially written and subject to approval of both the House and Senate.

The language was worked out in a conference committee of both House and Senate members who resolved the differences of the bill which passed each chamber.

Previous story: House votes to take Tennessee Capitol complex off guns-in-parks bill

Previous story: Senate passes bill allowing handguns at state Capitol

A senate amendment allowing those with handguns permits to carry their weapons at the state capitol was removed, along with a provision that would have banned toy guns within 150 feet of a school.

Still in is the heart of the bill which removes local prohibitions for permitted handguns to carry their weapons in parks.

The compromise measure also includes new language banning handguns in the “immediate vicinity” of school events being held in parks.

Senate sponsor John Stevens said the compromise intentionally did not say what “immediate vicinity” meant because it would create what supporters did not want– a specific “gun-free zone.”

Opponent Beth Joslin Roth of the Safe Tennessee Project called the compromise “confusing.”

Both chambers could consider the compromise by Thursday.

However, the so-called conference committee was called after the House and Senate couldn’t agree on the Capitol amendment.

The committee recommended removing it and keeping the main provision, which would strip local governments of the power to ban all firearms in parks.

Previous story: Knox County parents voice opinions on proposed ‘guns in parks’ bill

The conference report was accepted on a 4-2 vote and could be voted on by the full Senate and House later this week.(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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