MEMPHIS, Tenn. – When it comes to dealing with Tennessee’s new permitless carry law, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis says it’s a learning curve for everyone.
Davis gave Memphis City Council an update on how the department is handling the new law.
“This is a very complex issue. There is no cookie cutter approach. There is no manual,” said Davis. “This legislation presents challenges as it relates to everyday living in the community.”
It is new territory for Memphis Police as they navigate their jobs with Tennessee’s new permitless carry law. Davis says it starts with retraining.
“This takes some recalibration of how they address individuals in the community who are exposing weapons,” said Davis.
It is exposure that families like that of 7-year-old Kelby Shorty worry about. The little boy was an innocent bystander shot and killed on the Fourth of July while outside enjoying fireworks with his family.
“I hate it because before anybody could carry a gun it was dangerous. So now it’s really about to be dangerous. They’re shooting anywhere,” said Andrea Willis, who’s a family of Shorty.
Davis added, “Unfortunately we lost a little one this weekend. We are all saddened and we send our condolences to that family but there has to be better ways for individuals to resolve conflict than to use weapons.”
Chief Davis says the new law is especially concerning for communities already plagued by gun violence.
“To see individuals exposing weapons presents even more of a concern for them. However, we’re training our officers not to profile individuals but know the elements of the law,” said Davis.
Officers will now be equipped with reference cards guiding them in certain situations. The message is clear: it takes all of us to make our communities safer.
“The message to the community is to put the guns down. And not just in the communities where our children are playing but on our freeways. We have to create a safer environment,” said Davis.
Memphis Police add they need the community to speak up when these crimes happen, so they can arrest those responsible.
You can do that at anytime by calling Crimestoppers anonymously.