Friday, April 22, 2016

TN: Bill Grants Immmunity to those who Tolerate Exercise of the Second Amendment

In Tennessee, SB 1736(pdf)  has passed the House and the Senate. It is a bill that grants immunity for toleration of Second Amendment rights.  It has been enrolled and sent to Governor Bill Haslam.  Governor Haslam promised to sign "Constitutional" carry if it reached his desk, six years ago.  It seems likely that he will sign this bill.   The bill passed the Senate 26 to 4, the House 77 to 13.  The bill follows a trend started by Wisconsin and Kansas, where people who chose to allow others to exercise their Second Amendment rights are granted immunity from civil action for any harm that may stem from that decision.

The Tennessee bill starts with the other side of that position.  People who actively prevent permit holders from exercising their Second Amendment rights may be held liable for harm to the permit holders.  Essentially, if you disarm someone, you are responsible for their defense.  Here is the legislative summary of SB1736. From
Present law authorizes persons in control of property to post a notice that prohibits firearms on the premises. This bill imposes a duty of care on any person who posts their property to prohibit firearms whereby such person will be responsible for the safety of any handgun carry permit holder while the permit holder is on the posted premises and traversing any area to and from the premises and the location where the permit holder's firearm is stored. The duty of care created by this bill will extend to the conduct of other invitees, trespassers, employees of the person or entity, vicious animals, wild animals, and defensible man-made and natural hazards.

This bill creates a cause of action whereby any permit holder who is harmed while on posted premises or traversing any area to and from the premises and the location where the permit holder's firearm is stored may bring suit against the person who posted the property. The full text of this bill specifies the burden of proof that a plaintiff must meet in order to prevail in a suit brought under this bill. In addition to damages, a permit holder who brings a suit under this bill will be entitled to attorney fees and costs. The statute of limitations for actions brought under this bill will be two years.

This bill requires that any person who posts their property to prohibit firearms on the premises must use a sign that includes language citing this bill and the duty of care that such person owes to permit holders.

This bill requires that it be given a liberal construction.


AMENDMENT #1 rewrites this bill to provide immunity from civil liability to a person, business, or other entity that owns, controls, or manages property and has the authority to prohibit weapons on that property by positing under present law, with respect to any claim based on the person's, business's, or other entity's failure to adopt such a policy. This amendment will not apply to a person, business, or other entity whose conduct or failure to act is the result of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
Property managers required to post properties by Federal or State law are exempted.

The legislature has given an incentive for property managers to tolerate the status quo.  It relieves property managers of legal problems and responsibilities if they do nothing.  Doing nothing gains them immunity from lawsuit.  If they take positive action to chill the exercise of Second Amendment rights, they incur liability when their actions result in damages. 

Governor Haslam has ten days, not counting Sundays, to sign, veto, or ignore the bill.  By my count, the 10th day will be the 3rd of May, 2016.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

With rational people this kind of a bill should not be necessary, BUT in todays sue happy world it seems to be the breath of fresh air needed to bring about that common sense. I was beginning to worry that people that work on building highways were going to be sued for the accidents that happen on the finished road way. Most of our laws have been created and passed by elected lawyers so they can make more money for themselves in suing for their clients. people that get burned from hot coffee. or get s tooth ache from drinking iced coffee. I would like a cup of hot coffee, here is your coffee, damn that coffee burned me, I'm going to sue. solution next time do not order hot coffee and there is no chance of getting burned When I say jump I mean jump, so are you supposed to ask how high on the way up? these kinds of cases happen all the time and it is about time the trend was turned.around. There are no guarantees in life if you leave your home expect the unexpected and take responsibility for being alive. take a class on defensive driving or stay out of cars and off the road. Our legal system would not be in the mess it is in if we would stop electing lawyers. any intelligent person can write good laws. Any intelligent person can read the laws and understand how messed up out legal system is because of so called legal experts. for instance how many legal experts and judges have stated that Obama , Cruz and Rubio qualify to be president when the actual wording of the laws proves they are not even legal citizens. Agenda driven rulings and opinions are not law. Make these so called experts prove their rulings and opinions in the actual law and you will discover their agenda. maybe the upcoming four supreme court seats have something to do with it. If you want to find the corruption in Government look to the laws passed by the legal experts.

Anonymous said...

Here is why this is so important. Yes, it boils down to liability for the business owner (which translates to POWER at the INSURANCE COMPANY level). Insurance companies can almost compel a business owner to post no guns signs simply by making premiums sky high if they dare "allow" firearms' carriage.

Removing business owner liability means stripping the insurance companies of the rapacious action called premium setting and their ability to force a political agenda under the disguise of liability balancing.

When it comes down to it - it is common sense that the person committing the violence is the responsible and liable party at issue.....maybe this action will go a long way toward imposing that simple and common sense standards.