Posted businesses in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg?

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by Hombre, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Hombre

    Hombre PITA

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    We are heading up to Cades Cove, some hiking trails, waterfalls, cave(s), etc., in that area. We will be staying in either Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, and also likely going to the Gatlinburg aquarium next week. I am trying to avoid the cheesy tourist trap places as much as possible, but I will get dragged to one or two of those. Not Dollywood, though.

    With a search, I found some gun forum posts, from many years ago, which mentioned that the aquarium allowed carry, but I don't know if that is still the case. Can anyone confirm that they still allow it, or let me know of any other places in that area that do not allow firearms, especially if they have metal detectors? I know that No Gun signs that meet official requirements carry the weight of the law in TN and NC.
     
  2. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    I have not been since the law changed to more specific sign requirements, but I remember Ober Gatlinburg had a very large sign, and the (formerly Dixie) Stampede had signs and bag checks (no metal detectors, then). There are also some restaurants owned by the same company that all had the same sign, but I don't remember any of their names.

    Forgot to add that the visitor's center at GSMP is posted per Federal law, but the bathrooms are a separate unposted building.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020

  3. dhaller

    dhaller Active Member

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    The last time I went to the aquarium they actually encouraged carry. That was 5+ years ago, but it's simple enough to call and ask.

    (That said, I just don't carry in places like Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, because I don't wan the hassle of constantly figuring out where I can and cannot carry; I'm there to relax. Heresy, I know.)

    DH
     
  4. Hombre

    Hombre PITA

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    For reference, in case anyone is wondering, I found out today that the Ripley's Gatlinburg Aquarium still does allow concealed carry. I sent an email, and receive a very timely affirmative reply.
     
  5. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    Very good to know. We are likely to be up there later in the year. I'm surprised that they allow it though.
     
  6. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga prohibits weapons, including firearms: https://tnaqua.org/plan-a-visit/aquarium-policies/

    I believe it's private property, but public funds were partly used to develop it.

    If private, and if they have a proper sign, you violate the law automatically by going in armed.
     
  7. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    Phil, the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg is different from the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. The whole plaza area surrounding the Tenn. Aquarium was marked as off limits last time I was in the area.
    https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/gatlinburg/
     
  8. dhaller

    dhaller Active Member

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    The manager and his family survived an airport mass shooting a few years ago; that may have something to do with it!

    Nothing like being pinned down and trying to protect your kids from gunfire while not able to do anything about it to gain an appreciation for meeting force with force.

    DH
     
  9. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

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    That can definitely change your perspective on it.
     
  10. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised but glad the Ripley's Aquarium is not posted. I have never been there, but assumed they would be like other aquariums and a little paranoid about a negligent discharge severely affecting an exhibit. I imagine you cannot just swap out gigantic aquarium glass panes.

    The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga has legal signs, but since the guns in park law passed a few years ago, you don't have to worry about the whole plaza being off limits.
    If anyone is wondering, shortly before they closed for the pandemic, there was no metal detectors or security screening of any kind. I'm not sure if anything has changed since they re-opened with limited capacity.
     
  11. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    One problem I found while in Gatlinburg specifically was that we walked everywhere in town because the traffic is so bad, and I was carrying the whole time. I don't remember having to avoid any posted locations, but I would have had to either not go in or violate the law since there was no car to store a gun. There were several moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg, but because I was carrying, I couldn't do any of the taste testing, per Tennessee law regarding consuming alcohol and carrying.

    Also, if you weren't aware of a unique wrinkle in Tennessee law, local municipalities no longer can ban guns in parks, but they do not have to remove their "No Guns" signs until normal maintenance requires it. Some places, like Chattanooga, actually quickly removed their signs, but other places (like Hamilton County) have left them up and even put a fresh coat of paint on them. The only local greenspace we visited was in Pigeon Forge, and I don't remember any signs.

    The last time I went, I didn't see anyone open carrying, but I find that I tend to see OC less in Tennessee in general. I assume since LEOs can demand to see your permit at any time makes some people more OC averse. I open carried a full-size 1911 while hiking in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and the group of people immediately behind us didn't even notice it, including when my hand went to the grip when a solo hiker in front of us came quickly back around a bend after seeing a bear.
     
  12. GeorgiaGlocker

    GeorgiaGlocker Romans 10:13

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    My wife and I were there back in February. The only no gun sign I remember seeing was at the entrance of the Dixie Stampede.