Knoxville Zoo Carry?

Knoxville Zoo Carry?

This is a discussion on Knoxville Zoo Carry? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I will be traveling to Knoxville, TN to visit the Zoo. I cannot find anything online about the zoo's carry possition. I assume the zoo ...

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Thread: Knoxville Zoo Carry?

  1. #1
    New Member Array BSHardi's Avatar
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    Knoxville Zoo Carry?

    I will be traveling to Knoxville, TN to visit the Zoo. I cannot find anything online about the zoo's carry possition. I assume the zoo is not owned by the City or state, but do not know this to be true.

    Does anyone know if it is legal to carry in the Knoxville Zoo? Thanks for your help.


  2. #2
    Member Array whamonkey's Avatar
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    You can't carry in the Nashville Zoo so I am going to say that it is probably prohibited in Knoxville as well. I believe it falls under the public park umbrella. Call them......I would.

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    Member Array JusticeDun's Avatar
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    If you ever came to see the Cincinnati Zoo(second largest in the U.S.) you can carry there...well, you would be a fool if you didn't because of the neighborhood its in.
    Also, if Tenn is like Ohio on the "not allowed to carry at school functions" thing then that could be a problem since there are a lot of school field trip to the zoo during the day

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    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDun View Post
    if Tenn is like Ohio on the "not allowed to carry at school functions" thing then that could be a problem since there are a lot of school field trip to the zoo during the day
    So long as YOU are not part of the school function, the fact that they are there means nothing to you.

    It's the same as driving by a school victimization zone while armed on your way elsewhere.

  5. #5
    Member Array whamonkey's Avatar
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    You definitely can't....here's a link:
    http://www.packing.org/state/tennessee/#stateoff_limits

    The paragraph dealing with your question, carrying is prohibited:
    On the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof, for recreational purposes.

    This is the part of the law they just tried to change and it got killed in committee. Bummer.

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    Member Array JusticeDun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith&Wessonfan View Post
    So long as YOU are not part of the school function, the fact that they are there means nothing to you.

    It's the same as driving by a school victimization zone while armed on your way elsewhere.
    That might be true but the law is not clear on what a "school activity" is in the State Of Ohio

    Here is an example: The other day my wife went on a field trip to the zoo with the school. My wife asked if I wanted to go too, I told her I would just meet her there somewhere. Since I was not officially part of the field trip does that make me a felon if I was walking around with wife,my daughter, and a few other students while armed?

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    Senior Member Array Rotorflyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDun View Post
    Here is an example: The other day my wife went on a field trip to the zoo with the school. My wife asked if I wanted to go too, I told her I would just meet her there somewhere. Since I was not officially part of the field trip does that make me a felon if I was walking around with wife,my daughter, and a few other students while armed?
    That would depend on A) If you got busted somehow, B) What judge you end up before, and C) How good a lawyer you retained.

    As your wife (and assuming daughter) as well as the other students were part of the school function, it could/would be argued that by "joining them" at the zoo, made you part of the function as well.

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    Senior Member Array Rotorflyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whamonkey View Post
    The paragraph dealing with your question, carrying is prohibited:
    On the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof, for recreational purposes.

    Who owns the zoo though? Is it run by the city/state or is it privately funded/run? If it is privately funded/run this paragraph likely wouldn't cover this situation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Smith&Wessonfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDun View Post
    That might be true but the law is not clear on what a "school activity" is in the State Of Ohio

    Here is an example: The other day my wife went on a field trip to the zoo with the school. My wife asked if I wanted to go too, I told her I would just meet her there somewhere. Since I was not officially part of the field trip does that make me a felon if I was walking around with wife,my daughter, and a few other students while armed?
    The prime directive is to protect the family unit.

  10. #10
    Member Array whamonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotorflyr View Post
    Who owns the zoo though? Is it run by the city/state or is it privately funded/run? If it is privately funded/run this paragraph likely wouldn't cover this situation.
    I assume it's part of the city but I suggest calling them to ask if it is privately run. Better to always be on the legal side of the issue IMO.

  11. #11
    New Member Array BSHardi's Avatar
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    My trip to the Zoo

    Thanks everyone for chiming in on my question. I took whamonkey's advice and gave the Zoo a call as I was driving to Knoxville today. (Nothing like planning ahead.)

    A very nice lady eventually answered the phone. I said, "I was calling to see if there were any regulations regarding firearm carry in the park?" Ooh, nice lady turned into Librarian and said, "Yes, I can let you speak to our security office, and why would anyone want to carry in the park?"

    Well I certainly did not want to go into any discussion with this nice lady about why someone who was legally licensed to carry a firearm would want to exercise their 2nd amendment rights to carry in her park. (Some of the reasons that came to my mind were I am 100% confident that criminals carry in her park, VT is still very fresh in my mind, and of course the news about the nice Ape that escaped from a zoo over seas a week or two ago.)

    I kindly responded, "There are many reasons someone would want to carry, may I please speak to the ranger."

    She transferred me and a ranger answered the phone. From the ranger I discovered that the Park is privately owned (Nonprofit organization), they admitted that they did not know if the park was posted (not talking to the head ranger), and they were not aware that anyone had ever asked about firearm carry. They also told me that the park has armed security.

    Well, I decided to unload and secure my firearm in the car and went into the park with my family. While the family was in the required bathroom stop at the start of our tour, I scoped the front entrances, checked all their posted rules I could find, and looked through the welcome documentation. Several things listed like alcohol and such but no Firearm prohibition. Yippi.

    Family comes out of the bathroom and conveniently needs me to run back to the car to get something. I happily comply and gear up. I had a nice safe very hot day at the Zoo. (I wore my 511 Tactical Vest packed with baby wipes, water bottles, tissues, Zoo pass, camera, film, 2m Radio, extra 16 round mag, flashlight, and the kids money (what a dad). Covering my XD9 service.)

    Thanks for your help and comments. I am still not 100% sure I was legal; however, I felt like I had done my due diligence. I am sure had I bumped into the "Librarian", she would not have been happy.

  12. #12
    New Member Array BSHardi's Avatar
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    Don't Ask Don't Tell

    My trip has got me thinking. Had I met up with zoo staff I had no intention to ask any questions about legality or to admit I was carrying anything other than baby wipes and water. I was there to enjoy the trip with my family.

    As a good guy, I would have never done anything to intentionally blown my cover. I do not threaten, bully or try to get in people's way. Had something happened that might warrant the use of force, I know I would hesitate long enough to weigh judgment (I realize that might get me killed).

    So, given that I might not have been legal. What trouble might I have gotten into?

    My answer, very little trouble. I have never in my life had any trouble with authority and I would not have done anything to draw attention to myself. So I felt the risk was very low. On the other hand, had an ape(human or otherwise) broken loose and attempted to harm my family, I would never questioned my reasoning for having and using force to protect my loved ones.

    This may need to be a new thread. And by the way, I am rather new to armed carry. Thanks for the help.

  13. #13
    Member Array whamonkey's Avatar
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    Privately owned ......you are good to go! As far as asking while you're there...good choice not to. None of theire steenking business.

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    Senior Member Array Rotorflyr's Avatar
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    Yep, if it was privately owned, not posted (not sure what legal weight posting carries in TN) I'd say you were good to go.

    As for the "Librarian", I'd have told her that given two zoo's have recently had large primates escape their cages I want to be prepared....would have said it with a little 'chuckle' and let her decide for herself just how serious I was....

  15. #15
    RB
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    Hey BSHardy, I will be going to a biker rally called JuneBugBoogie in your neck of the woods in a few weeks. Any ideas about carry at that function?
    I may have to contact them just in case.

    Hope you enjoyed the Ktown Zoo. It IS world class.

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