Nashville’s mayor is really, really anti-gun.
Nashville’s police chief thinks people who didn’t like Mike Brown protestors shutting down I-40 are racists.
Nashville’s newly-elected District Attorney has been on the job less than 6 months and has already had 3 major ethics scandals.
Knowing that, you need to remember the following things
You can go to the bar, but you can’t drink anything. You can’t even leave the gun in your car if you plan to go back to the car later.
There are some quirks and caveats and whatnot, but for those visiting, if you see a “no guns allowed” sign in any form, just don’t go there. We got the ability to carry in places that serve alcohol back in 2009, and the bars and restaurants around the convention center lost their everloving minds, going so far as to search everyone entering for guns, something they didn’t think was necessary when only criminals might come into the lounge armed.
Make no mistake: the business owners downtown are generally hostile to gun owners, but they still want your money. They fought tooth and nail against making it legal to carry in their establishments unless they posted a simple sign. The vast majority did not post signs initially, but announced they would. I will be surprised if we make it through the weekend without at least one arrest for violating a sign or the alcohol provision. The restaurant staff is likely to be on “high alert” looking for anyone who might be violating the law and quick to pull the trigger on calling the cops. Which brings me to my final point:
I talked about this in Episode 29 of the GunBlogVarietyCast, but the gist is that you can’t carry in a city park or property owned or used by a school. First Avenue in downtown Nashville…if you walk on sidewalk furthest from the river, you’re fine. If you walk on the other side of the street, you’ve committed a crime because that’s Riverfront Park. Music City Walk of Fame Park is right next to the Arena* where several events are being held, and it’s the same thing. Walk on one side of the street and you’re fine. Walk on the other and you’ve got a problem.
As far as schools, you’d think it would be obvious but it’s not. There is a vast section of commercial development just west of town that’s actually owned by Vanderbilt University, and the way the law is written it’s likely a felony to carry there. Do yourself a favor before you get to Nashville: hit up Google Maps and look at the Green and Yellow portions of the map. Those are no-go zones if you’re armed.
Have fun, don’t drink, and watch for signage!
*By the way, the Convention Center is legal for carry, but the Arena isn’t.