This weekend is the 2015 Annual Meeting for the National Rifle Association. It might sound stuffy — who likes “meetings” anyway? — but the biggest draw is going to be the trade show in the Music City Center. All of the major firearms manufacturers will be there showing off their guns, and it will be open to the public to browse and enjoy. Naturally TTAG’s finest will be on location to cover the event, and in preparation I tried to do some research into whether concealed carry is OK at the event. I found the info a little murky, so here’s my crack at clearing things up . . .
Tennessee is a state that has concealed carry permitting and honors those from every state except one. For the full run-down on the laws visit USACarry but the basics are that concealed carry is A-OK in The Volunteer State. But two scenarios where carrying a firearm can be prohibited that apply to the NRA event are either (A) if the venue is a municipally owned civic center or (B) if signs are posted to that effect.
The trade show is, just like SHOT or any other show, an event where thousands of people will be handling guns. So naturally, for the exhibitors, there’s a rule on the books that all guns on display must be deactivated. This is par for the course when it comes to firearms-related trade shows.
Naturally, Moms Demand Action (and other websites with similar predispositions and an inherent laziness) have misconstrued this to mean that since only non-functioning guns will be displayed, carry (concealed or otherwise) is prohibited. Naturally, they’re wrong:
The right to bear arms will draw out-of-towners by the tens of thousands to Nashville this week. But not all venues at the National Rifle Association annual meeting welcome concealed firearms.
Those with carry permits are in the clear inside the Music City Center. But the big nightly concerts are across the street at Bridgestone Arena.
The NRA’s website for the event spells it out:
During the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Music City Center with the proper license in accordance with Tennessee law. Bridgestone Arena prohibits the possession of firearms. When carrying your firearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.
So if you’re legal to carry a gun, you’re good to go in the Music City Center where the trade show is taking place. But the music venue that will feature some of the entertainment has banned firearms and therefore guns are no bueno during the nightly events. I contacted the NRA directly for some clarification and they have confirmed that both open and concealed carry, if properly licensed, are 100% OK for the Music City Center.
Once again unencumbered by the thought process, Moms Demand Action hit the publish button without getting all the facts, and continuing to reinforce the they’re more about emotion than facts. So, that leaves only one question — what are you going to be packing?