A new state law in Tennessee took effect on July 1, recognizing the right of permit holders to carry firearms on city buses. (Local authorities are allowed to continue to ban firearms only if they install metal detectors and station security guards at each station to ensure that all passengers, law-abiding or not, are disarmed.) But public transit authorities in the state’s major cities seem determined to do as little as possible to honor the law.
The Times Free Press of Chattanooga reports that codes of conduct in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga do not specify who is allowed to carry firearms on public transit, instead requiring passengers to know in advance whether or not they are authorized. Well after the law has gone into effect, Memphis officials say that they are still changing their policy language, while reports have come in about signage in Nashville still indicating that all firearms are prohibited. (City officials say they are working on replacing the out-of-date signs.)Unsurprisingly, the cities’ poor implementation of the new law appears to have more to do with political opposition than with general incompetence. “We will comply with the law, we won’t encourage it,” Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director Lisa Maragnano told the paper in an email—and apparently they are determined to comply to the slightest degree possible!