Handgun carry permit owners will be allowed to pack heat at Riverbend this year, according to new state legislation passed last year.

A bill passed in 2015 allows permitted gun owners to bring guns to state and local parks.

"The state legislation on it allows handgun carry permit holders to carry a weapon in a park, city or county park, and state law would supersede in local ordinance so the city and county cannot put an ordinance in place to prohibit it," said Chattanooga Police Sgt. Austin Garrett.

Garrett said the festival grounds are considered a park, therefore, it falls under the law.

"I don't think we'll have any issues with it," Garrett said. "We have plans in place to address it, protocol to deal with it. I don't think it's going to be an issue. This is just kind of something new that people aren't used to so it's kinda presented itself in that manner."

Garrett said to expect heavy police and security throughout the festival grounds, but nothing different from usual years.

"You'll see us everywhere in the festival like you do every year. We're there as a presence just to make sure everybody feels safe but also there to assist with questions. We encourage people to come up an interact with us," he said.

Pets, skateboard, scooters, bikes, rollerblades, backpacks and laser pointers are prohibited at Riverbend, in addition to weapons without a permit.

For questions regarding your status to carry, contact CPD at 423-643-5000.