..."Of 442 cities and counties (in Tennessee) only 70 have opted out."

Guns allowed in youth ballpark, swimming pool & parks

By: Pat Hunter


Lee Russell Recreation Complex - youth sports park. The Resolution proposed prohibiting guns at the Russell Complex and city swimming pool, only.

No action by Council

There was little discussion about the proposed Resolution to prohibit guns within the Lee Russell Recreation Complex and Lenoir City Municipal Swimming Pool areas. The Resolution was on Monday's (Sept. 28th) Lenoir City Council meeting agenda for discussion and vote. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board voted in favor of this Resolution. Click to see GUN RESOLUTION

The wording in the Resolution proposed allowing people with handgun permits to carry handguns in municipal parks, nature trails, campgrounds, forests, greenways, waterways except for areas within the Lee Russell Recreation Complex and Lenoir City Municipal Swimming Pool. The youth sports complex and Lenoir City swimming pool areas are used by youth. The city's recreation department attracts hundreds of youth to its recreation complex because of its numerous sports programs.

The Keith Wampler Park was not included in the Resolution because of nearby walking trails but soccer fields, skate board ramps and basketball court are located within this area.

The State Legislature approved legislation allowing people with handgun permits to carry their guns in local and state parks but the bill also included a provision that permitted cities and counties to opt out of the law.

Two people spoke in favor of allowing the gun law stand in Lenoir City parks and recreation areas.   

Councilman Bobby Johnson., Sr., said that he was originally against having guns in parks but he changed his mind. He was getting calls from women who walk in the parks. Johnson Sr. said that he checked and there were some "incidents" in these parks. Police patrol the parks with bikes. He wanted to represent his constituents who were law abiding citizens.

Johnson Sr. made a motion for the Resolution. Do I hear a second on the motion asked Mayor Brookshire? If I do not hear a second the motion fails and no action would be taken.

Councilman Eddie Simpson wanted to know about the status of guns in the parks. It would be in accordance to state law replied Brookshire. Would this issue come up again and again asked Simpson. It won't do any good replied Brookshire.

Mayor Brookshire supported the Resolution but he did not expect the Resolution to pass. We could have gotten as many people tonight that would have spoken in favor. This issue was a very emotional and passionate issue on both sides.

Council: Tony Aikens (l), Bobby Johnson Sr., Dale Hurst, City attorney Shannon Littleton, Mayor Matt Brookshire, Council: Mike Henline, Eddie Simpson, Buddy Hines, Treasurer-Recorder Bobby Johnson, Jr. (r)

City parks and recreation


Lenoir City Council voted to ban guns at Lenoir City Hall, a while back.


  • Lenoir City plays host to events including Rockin' the Docks, Lenoir City Craft Festival, Fishing tournament that are held at the Lenoir City Park, which bring in thousands of people to these yearly events.


  • Families enjoy movies in the parks program and picnic shelters bring families and others for get-togethers.