Nashville Channel 5 news runs “investigation” calling for criminal sanctions against victims of crime

On Monday, February 17, 2020, Newschannel 5 in Nashville ran an investigative report by reporter Phil Williams on the issue of the rising numbers of guns being stolen from cars in the Nashville area.  The news report highlighted how possible two weapons, which Channel 5 claims were stolen from two separate private vehicles, were seized from the juveniles who were investigated and later charged for a high profile robbery-murder in Nashville.

Channel 5’s report includes a crime map for the years 2015-2019 which shows the parts of town where police records claim that the weapons were stolen either from cars or were in cars when they were stolen.  A review of that map suggests heavier concentrations of thefts in the high density and parking garage areas of downtown Nashville as well as in other parts of town where residential street parking is a common problem.  Fewer thefts were reported in more affluent parts of Nashville where people tend to parking in private garages or off-street.

Channel 5 quoted a noted gun control advocate who blamed youth violence on guns being stolen from cars.  The news report continues, quoting the gun control advocate:

She said guns stolen from cars is a big driver of youth violence across the state.

“What we see is as these numbers of guns being stolen out of cars increases both in Memphis and here in Nashville we see a correlating rise in homicides and especially youth homicides,”

Channel 5 references unidentified “experts” who blame the violence problems on the streets with a law passed in 2014 which allows citizens to store weapons in their personal vehicles even if the person does not have a handgun permit.  Channel 5 suggests, without quoting any source, that part of the problem is that there is no criminal penalty attached to the vehicle storage law from 2014.

The news report then partially quotes John Harris with the Tennessee Firearms Association.  When interviewed, Harris made it clear that part of the problem with firearms being left in vehicles arises from the mixture of state statutes and businesses which are posting properties to create gun free zones.  Under Tennessee law, many handgun permit holders are forced to leave their handguns in personal vehicles when they go to locations which by law prohibit handguns and/or into venues where the property owners or managers have posted the properties as gun free zones. Channel 5’s report completely omits that staggering fact.

It is clear from both the interview and the report that Channel 5, and or Phil Williams specifically, is pushing for a law that would impose criminal sanctions on these firearms owners who themselves are both the victim of a crime of theft or burglary and in some instances the victim of having their 2nd Amendment protected rights infringed by government created or supported gun free zones.   They apparently refuse to accept the fact that these vehicle owners and gun owners are themselves victims of a crime problem that is arising from many other social choices of a decaying government education and criminal justice system.  Its the typical of the gun control mentality which frivolously embraces the idea that if we just did not have gun owners or their guns then society would be safer and criminals would not commit crimes.

The news channel 5 story is a hot topic on the station’s Facebook Page ( )as well as the personal page of Phil Williams (  You can also contact NewsChannel5 and its news directors through its website.

John Harris
Executive Director
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