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Posted: 6/15/2009 6:34:56 AM EST
Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc.
Legislative Action Committee

Press Release:

Arbitrary closure of FOP21 Firing Range by TVA

The Fraternal Order of Police, Fort Loudoun Area Lodge 21 (FOP21), has leased land from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for recreational use for police officers and their families since 1979. This land also has a 60 yard firing range available for recreational use, as well as for use by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office for state mandated POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) certification. Also, according Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA 38-8-116 Law Enforcement Shooting Ranges), FOP21 has also offered Associate Memberships to the general public.

In a letter dated May 15, 2009, Darrell Cuthbertson, Manager - Little Tennessee Watershed Team - Land & Water Stewardship (TVA, 260 Interchange Park Drive, Lenoir City, TN 37772-5664), sent a letter to Mayor Doyle Arp, Mayor of Loudon County. In the letter Mr. Cuthbertson states: "In light of the numerous complaints about safety concerns and other environmental factors associated with a firing range, TVA requests that all use of the firing range cease" and is ""no longer in use after June 1, 2009".

There is a law in the TCA code protecting firing ranges from developmental encroachment and noise nuisance lawsuits (TCA 39-17-316 Noise control at sport shooting ranges).. The factors Mr. Cuthbertson cites for closure seem to be irrelevant and that the range is otherwise protected by state law.

In a letter dated May28, 2009, Mr. Mark Tinnel, President of FOP21, to the Associate Membership of FOP21, states that he has spoken with Mr. Cutherbertson and a closure extension of 1 month was given, with a new closure date of July 1, 2009. He further stated that he has been in contact with Congressman Jimmy Duncan and State Representatives Bob Ramsey and Jimmy Matlock, and is asking for your help by calling him at Monday through Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. at 865-986-4823 with any ideas or suggestions you may have.


The Battleground moves to local governments

The parks bill is now law. It opens all state parks. It will open federal parks in February 2010 (the effective date of the federal law unless the injunction on the implementation of the federal rule change is lifted before then). Unfortunately, we have a huge problem to address relative to the local option issues on local parks.

The local option issue arises because the law opens all local parks but allows local governments to close entire parks (there is no option to close only part of a local park) by local legislative action. For many gun owners, local parks are in some instances more important because they are in them more often. For example, there are local parks which have roads through them that are main corridors for traffic going to residential areas. There are local parks that are used for greenways, bike trails, exercise paths, remote picknick areas, etc.

Your right of self defense does not stop when you enter a local park - but it will be infringed if local governments opt to close local parks to permit holders.

Your expectation and desire to be free of violent crime is not diminished in a local park. Local governments that choose to close local parks will not be required to increase armed patrols, to provide additional surveilance, to install emergency phones. Local governments that elect to close local parks will not be responsible or liable for your safety or lack thereof.

We expect to see local governments moving forward quickly over the next 3 months in efforts by liberals and the misinformed - all supported by the news media - to close local parks to handgun permit holders. Obviously, these infringements will not materially impact the criminal element.

This means that grassroots efforts must be turned to local governments NOW and these efforts must be coordinated and significant. Grassroots efforts need to address not only the talking points on why local parks should remain open but these efforts need to bring home to local legislators the fact that firearms owners rights are not being measured at the local level and adverse actions by them can and will result in financial and other efforts to get them out of office.

Here are some of the points:
a) Many local parks have through roads that provide access to neighborhoods and communities.
b) Many local parks have walking trails, hiking trails, jogging trails, greenways and walkways.
c) There are some significantly sized local parks. Davidson County identifies 23 local parks. Beaman Park in Joelton (1500 acres) http://www.nashville.gov/parks/locations/beaman.htm; Bell's Bend Park is 800 acres; Peeler Park is 255 acres; Shelby Bottoms is 810 acres; and there are approximately 18 walkways, greenways and bike trails from 1/2 mile to 10 miles (Stones River Greenway).
d) Local parks typically have higher crime rates because of higher traffic

Davidson County has scheduled one such bill for hearing on Tuesday, June 16. If you live in or use or might use Davidson County's many parks, you can contact all council members through the Metro Council website and admonish them not to close local parks:


TFA has started a section on its forum to watch and work on local issues. If your community is starting down the path of closing local parks, local ranges, restaurants and/or otherwise working to infringe firearms owners' rights, please bring this to the attention of and to discussion on the TFA Forum. This sharing of information, email addresses and contacts is necessary to be more effective at the grassroots level.


Nashville Chapter Meeting Tuesday June 16, 2009

Nashville Chapter is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. Note: Standard meeting night is the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Our guest speaker is expected to be Rep. Joshua Evans. Rep. Evans first bill as a state legislator was a firearms owner bill and it went into law. He carried the employee-parking lot bill against Fed-Ex. He also was the only legislator in the House to stand and vote against the effort to recall the parks bill last week.

Also, please note for those attending – please wear your TFA shirts to all meetings.s one in particular we need you to come "in black" because we are testing our video streaming.
Those of you who are not attending, please watch the video stream (some or all) as we need to test the load on that service. At present it should handle about 50 with live chat features. As we get the system implemented, we expect that it will handle 2500+ viewers at the same time.

Meeting time is 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm.

We had 73 people at the May meeting. The room holds 80. Please arrive early (I reserve the room starting at 5:30) to get a seat, eat and socialize as possible. We may have to move the room seating around for the meeting.

NEW Location:Golden Corral Hermitage
315 Old Lebanon Dirt Rd
Hermitage, TN 37076
(615) 874-1313
Fronts onto Old Hickory Blvd between I-40 & Lebanon Rd.


If you have not been to a Golden Coral, its a buffet only. It has a huge selection of salad, soup, menu items, deserts, etc. It will be important to tip.

You do not have to be a TFA member to attend nor do you have to be a resident of Nashville. Everyone is welcome and encourage to bring guests - even spouses.

I want to encourage each of you to bring someone with you to the meeting who has not been to one or been to one recently.


TFA is a grassroots organization. Membership in TFA helps support our collective efforts by covering the costs of the TFA website, its forum, these alerts, and other organizational necessities. If you are receiving these emails and are not already a member of TFA, I urge you to consider joining TFA because your support is important.
In addition, the growth of TFA's membership will allow TFA to move forward by putting additional tools and resources into place which will allow TFA and its members to be more effective grassroots organization.

If you would like to join or renew your membership, you can do so online at this link JOIN TFA http://www.tfaonline.org/index.php/tfa/join

John Harris
Executive Director

Copyright, Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc. 2009
Copyright, John Harris 2009
P.O. Box 198722, Nashville, TN 37219

Used by permission.



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