By ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is urging fellow Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly not to let the upcoming convention of the National Rifle Association in Nashville influence their consideration of a slew of bills seeking to loosen state gun laws.

The governor told reporters at the state Capitol on Wednesday that "short-term circumstances are not a good reason to drive long-term policy."

The NRA's annual meeting is scheduled for the weekend beginning April 10 at Nashville's new convention center. Organizers expect more than 75,000 people to attend.

Haslam has raised concerns about several gun bills pending in the Legislature, including an effort to do away with permit requirements to carry handguns in public and to strip local governments of the power to ban guns in parks, playgrounds and sports fields.

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