Dog shot, killed raises concerns about new Tennessee gun law

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 MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It was a phone call that rocked a Vietnam veteran’s world. A neighbor called the Whitehaven man, telling him that his beloved dog had been shot to death. 

He reached out to WREG, concerned about the permitless gun law, which means most Tennesseans 21 and older will be able to carry a handgun with or without a permit starting July 1.

Luther King said the new law could mean trouble for man and man’s best friend.

This is personal for King, who lost his companion, a dog named Junior, just 24 hours ago. He was shot at point blank range in the back of the head.

“It really hurt. I haven’t been able to cry yet but it’s very devastating because it’s senseless,” he said.

King says Junior was shot Sunday or Monday at his home while he was away. He doesn’t know who did it or why, but suspects someone returning to steal more lawn equipment may have shot the dog when he got off his chain in the driveway.

King says the city, to include his Whitehaven community is already grappling with soaring crime. He is concerned with more guns on the streets, he will once again find him self in a war zone, only this time it will be here at home.

King served for a total of 17 years.

“I served in the Vietnam, I got a Purple Heart and I was in the Navy from 1965 to 1969,” said King.

He never thought he would find himself back in combat, this time in his own community.

“It’s going to be a major disaster here, especially in Memphis,” he said.

Mr. King is referring to the permitless carry bill that was signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee back in April. He believes relaxing the gun law could be the perfect storm for more gun violence.

“On the 4th of July, I wish I could go to another planet because it’s going to be horrific,” he added.

“I’ve seen dogs all over the road, all over the road, all the way around. They are not hit by cars, somebody done shot them,” he added.

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King said the city, to include his Whitehaven community, is already grappling with soaring crime. He is concerned that with more guns on the streets, he will once again find him self in a war zone. The only difference is that this time time it will be here at home.

“You got people killing, for nothing. Road rage, mad about a relationship. It’s crazy,” he said.

King is offering a $2,500 reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the person who killed Junior.

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Supporters of the new law said it strengthens the right to bear arms guaranteed under the Second Amendment.

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