Tennessee Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike McWherter is criticizing his Republican opponent, Bill Haslam, widely considered the front-runner, for saying he would sign potential legislation repealing the state’s handgun-carry-permit system, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. McWherter said Haslam, the mayor of Knoxville, “has shown a complete lack of common sense and will say anything to anyone to get elected.”
McWherter told a gun-rights group he disagreed with its members on legislation alllowing guns in bars. McWherter said the current rules for obtaining gun permits, including a criminal background check and a gun-safety course, “are absolutely essential to public safety.” Haslam said he favored the current law but that if the legislature repealed it, he would sign it. Incumbent Gov. Phil Bredesen said laws loosening restrictions on carrying handguns are like an “anchor dragging along behind” the state as it tries to attract and retain companies and quality workers.