The right to self-defense is among our most basic rights. In 1997, I dramatically improved our state's right-to-carry law by streamlining the application process so honest, law-abiding citizens would not have to wait up to a year to receive their permit.
Make no mistake, the Second Amendment is under assault. The U.S. Supreme Court has serving on its bench a Judge who ruled, prior to appointment to the Court, that the Second Amendment DOES NOT apply to states. That is why I spoke out against Judge Sotomayor when she was being nominated, in defense of a Tennessean's right to bear arms.
Now, we have a Democrat Governor who wants to limit the places law abiding, permit carying Tennesseans can carry their guns. For the second year in a row, Governor Bredesen has vetoed the guns in restaurants bill, citing appeals to emotion rather than sheer indisputable fact. This iteration of the bill would allow restaurant owners -- not the government -- to decide if they want to allow guns in their establishments. Additionally, any permitted carriers who imbibe alcohol while carrying will face the penalty of law. I am leading the way to over-ride Governor Bredesen's veto. Tennesseans who follow the law and have obtained carry permits should not be told when and where they can protect themselves and their families.
We must have a Governor who can stand up to both federal and local officials who want to erode our basic rights. I am that Governor.