Published February 16, 2021
Nashville, TN – On Tuesday, February 9th, Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) filed a bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives that, if passed, would make it unlawful for businesses of public accommodation to create policies requiring consumers to wear masks, take COVID tests, or vaccines, or any other type of medical treatment.
House Bill 0794 (HB0794) is a companion bill to Senate Bill 0320 (SB0320) and they both share the same language:
“Business and Commerce – As introduced, prohibits a person from denying an individual the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement on the grounds of the wearing or use of a medical device, or whether the individual has received medical treatment. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 58 and Title 68.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Joe Hensley (R-Honhenwald) and Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma).
While this bill aims to protect the individual liberty of consumers, it also protects businesses by removing any liability or potential causes of action against a given business due to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
Another effect is that the bill would remove the burden of policy enforcement on business owners who are currently required by state and locally levied COVID-19 guidelines to police their employees and customers.
According to Gary Humble, Founder of Tennessee Stands, the bill “removes business owners from the threats of cancel culture and the political conversations surrounding masks and other overreaching policies.”
Many Tennesseans are in support of the bill and have even offered to sign petitions in support of the bill.
Lynn Wagner, from Knoxville, says “Is there something we can sign? Tell me what I can do and I’ll do it. I’ll do just about anything at this point. I can’t stand another day looking at these people living in fear, looking at those of us who choose to exercise our God given rights and freedoms to not wear a mask like we are lepers.”
“Is there a phone number we can call to reinforce our feelings in the House? Congratulations getting this as far as you have!!” says Brenda Bliss Delaney from Nashville.
Others Tennesseans doubt the bill will pass.
Andru Evans, from Nashville, says, “Good bill but I doubt it has a chance of passing. Too many politicians have bought into the mask hype or if they haven’t they fear the mass outcry from the mask zealots.”
And some Tennesseans do not support such a bill.
JC Beach, from Murfreesboro, says “So basically… come as you want?? Naked or no shirt??”
“Why do you want to kill people?” asks Jessica Riley.
Regardless, if the bill passes, scenes like the one that happened over the weekend at Chattanooga Billiards Club, where a patron was forcibly removed from the establishment for not wearing a mask, would be a thing of the past.
And the fear business owners have of the “Mask Police” in the form of local Health Department officials would also be alleviated not to mention lawsuits some businesses have been strapped with for non-compliance with COVID-19 mandates.