Tennessee Cities Say Tourism Hurt By Guns-In-Bars Measure


Nashville and Memphis visitors bureaus say Tennessee’s suspended law allowing guns in bars has hurt tourism, The Tennessean reports. Officials say other cities cite the measure to lure visitors away from Tennessee. Butch Spyridon of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau said, “We had international press, and we have gotten letters from visitors who literally have canceled plans to visit.”

Restaurant and bar owners say the prospect of armed patrons, or a sign keeping guns out of an establishment, is bad for business. The law allows restaurant owners to ban guns on their premises by posting a sign, but Preston Lam of Memphis-based River City Management said that option doesn’t sit well with the tourism industry, either: “You’re kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You put the sign on the door, but somebody coming in says, ‘Gosh, is it dangerous around here?’ The law has been put on hold after a judge ruled that it is unconstitutionally vague.

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