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Two Closely Watched Guns Bills Die in the House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two bills followed closely by the state’s gun rights advocates have failed in the Tennessee General Assembly.

A bill seeking to allow Tennesseans to openly carry firearms in public, and a bill that would have allowed guns to be carried in parks statewide, failed to clear a House subcommittee.

Governor Bill Haslam had expressed reservations about the measures, but both bills passed in the State Senate by wide margins.

John Harris, a spokesman for the Tennessee Firearms Association was one of those following the bills closely. He notes House members face elections this fall and says the state’s gun rights advocates will hold them accountable.

“Our plan is, particularly in this election cycle, to make sure to the maximum extent we can achieve it, that voters in specific districts - where people say one thing but do another - that people know that integrity might be an issue when it comes to the 2nd Amendement with certain candidates.”

A grass roots group called Mom’s Demand Action, formed after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shootings, delivered a petition to the governor's office last week opposing both measures and bearing 4000 signatures.