Officials cite few gun incidents in state parks - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Officials cite few gun incidents in state parks

CHATTANOOGA (AP) - Officials say only two gun-related incidents have been reported in state parks since a law passed over a year ago allowing guns in parks, and neither of them resulted in violence.

The law, which took effect in late June 2009, allowed permit holders to go armed in all 53 state parks and 81 state natural areas. The bill included local parks but allowed local governments to opt out, which many did.

Tennessee Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke lobbied against the measure. But he recently told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he's "pleasantly surprised" by the low number of gun incidents.

According to the Department of Safety's website, Tennessee has issued nearly 340,000 handgun-carry permits since 1996. As of July 1, 293,431 Tennesseans held valid handgun permits.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

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