Guns in Parks? Not Really

Back in 2009, Knoxville's City Council voted to continue banning guns from city parks, rejecting the carry permit provisions passed by the state Legislature. How then is the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park a frequent site for gun shows featuring hundreds of assorted rifles, pistols, and shotguns?

The Jacob Building and Chilhowee Park are not operated by the City Parks Department. They are event sites, under the direction of the Public Assembly Facilities management, along with the Civic Coliseum and Auditorium.

The Jacob Building is thus available for rent by gun show promoters.

The facilities are also under new management. Mayor Madeline Rogero has hired Greg Mackay to be the new Public Assembly Facilities manager to "oversee the staff and operations at Chilhowee Park and the Civic Auditorium and Coliseum."

Rogero has appointed Mackay to replace the retiring Bob Polk. Mackay was the election administrator for Knox County until being forced out when the Republicans took control of the Election Commission.