Murfreesboro councilman pushing for guns on greenways - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Murfreesboro councilman pushing for guns on greenways

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Greenways are popular spots for runners, walkers and cyclists, but soon, the next person you pass could be armed.

A Murfreesboro councilman wants to allow gun carry permit holders to carry their firearms on greenways.

Guy Chun has lived in Murfreesboro for more than 12 years, and loves to spend time with his family at city parks and greenways.

Chun is a gun permit holder himself, and doesn't feel he needs to carry his gun on the greenways-trailheads, but he's not opposed to others doing so, if approved.

"For me, I think that's fine," Chun said. "That's Southern mentality. If the good guys don't have the guns, the bad guys will just be allowed to do what they want."

Stephen Parker also doesn't see a problem with folks being able to pack heat.

"I think they should be," Parker said. "I use to live in Jackson, and there were incidences where people would come out of the woods and try and rob people."

City Councilman Eddie Smotherman agrees.

"Illegal guns are the problem," Smotherman said. "The handgun carry permit holders, you'll never know they have them. They will have them concealed."

He plans to offer an amendment to a city resolution banning guns in parks.

"The greenway system is recognized as a soft spot, and what we're trying to do is allow a situation that would be conducive to people who have had background checks and have hand-gun carry permits to carry the guns on the greenway system," Smotherman said.

But fellow Councilwoman Madelyn Scales-Harris said not so fast.

"We have 24/7 protection on the greenways, whether on scooters, bikes, or foot, and then you have three-percent of the calls to date to now; I don't see why we need guns on the greenways," Scales-Harris said.

She said the numbers don't lie.

Police said there have been 1,420 calls for service on both the greenways and trailheads since 2008, but only three percent of those calls were actual crimes committed on the greenway itself.

"If you have a gun and that's a more secluded place, you are most likely to use it," Scales-Harris said. "I'm not for guns on the parks or the greenways."

Since this will be an amendment to a resolution it will not require the usual three readings, and three votes of approval, but rather a simply vote up or down by council members.

City Spokesman Mike Browning said City Attorney Susan McGannon is expected to advise the council on whether changes to the current resolution can be amended by that one-time vote or if other action needs to be taken.

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