Bill Proposed To Hold Gun Free Zone Businesses Financially Liable

On January 15th 2016, SB 1736 was introduced to the Tennessee General Assembly by State Senator Dolores Gresham dealing with Gun Free Zones.  This is a rather interesting bill that seeks to hold business owners liable for any injury that befalls one of their patrons who would otherwise be safe had they been allowed to carry their firearm.

A more concise wording of what the bill entails:

SB 1736: Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, establishes that if a person or entity posts to prohibit the possession of firearms on the property, the posting entity, for purposes of liability, assumes custodial responsibility for the safety and defense of any handgun carry permit holder harmed while on the posted property. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.

This is actually something that I have been a proponent of for years.  If business owners are allowed to ban firearms from their establishments, usually under the defense that it is a liability concern, then they should be held accountable for the safety of their patrons whose God given rights they are infringing upon.

For any other type of injury the business would all ready be liable for it.  If an amusement park ride malfunctions, if a store has a leak and someone trips, if animals aren’t properly secured at the zoo etc.

Why should I, or any other gun owner not be allowed to benefit financially because some business owner allowed their business to be a more dangerous place due to their own ignorance/willful negligence?

Of course, this isn’t going to stop criminals from doing what criminals do but at least some restitution can be found by the victims and their families at the hands of those who allow such acts to take place, mainly the business owners who operate within “gun free zones.”

“Gun Free” Zones like the movie theater in Aurora Colorado or UC Santa Barbara.

The Aurora shooter actually passed up closer theaters and larger ones in order to SPECIFICALLY hit the ONLY theater in the area that banned guns.

First and foremost I would say not to frequent places that would leave you disarmed and helpless in the face of armed criminals.

But if businesses or university will not protect law abiding people while they are there following the asinine gun free zone policy that just ensures criminals are armed, then those businesses should be held financially responsible for the fallout of their idiocy.

The three main tenets of how a lawsuit could proceed is as follows:

  • the plaintiff had to be authorized to carry a gun at the time of the incident
  • the plaintiff was prohibited from carrying a firearm because of the gun-free sign
  • the property owner was not required to be posted by state or federal law but was posted by choice of the defendant

It should be noted that this bill would encompass injury done by criminals but also wild animals.

The responsibility of the person or entity posting for the safety and defense of the permit holder shall 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.

I will keep an eye on SB 1736 and hopefully it will come to fruition and such bills will spread throughout the country.  It is time we stomped out these criminal empowerment zones and in doing so actually take a step in ending spree shootings.

You can read SB1736 in its entirety by clicking here: Senate Bill 1736


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