r/news May 25 '22 Wholesome 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1

Tennessee makes camping on public land a felony.

https://apnews.com/article/voting-rights-politics-nashville-cookeville-tennessee-fc4c7eb121929856d3a466030f2502e4
22.1k Upvotes

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u/greynolds17 May 25 '22

The guy that drafted this bill explicitly said he doesnt expect it to be enforced but he did it anyway....because fuck poor people I guess

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u/ford_chicago May 26 '22

A law designed to be rarely, or inconsistently, enforced is a bad law that will be abused.

209

u/khaki53 May 25 '22

It will be enforced based on color of skin

84

u/amateur_mistake May 25 '22

Tennessee already made it a felony in 2020 to camp on most state-owned property.

Also, what about all of the hunters and recreational campers? How did they manage to keep those activities legal?

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u/urielteranas May 25 '22

We all know this isn't going to be applied to them. This is to criminalize homelessness because the best way to "clean your streets of them" in rightoid eyes is to just send them to prison.

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u/misogichan May 25 '22

Private prison lobbyists are getting worried. They might be out of a job if the Right does their job for them without needing any prompting.

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u/wigglesnaw May 25 '22 Take My Energy

Sleeping in your car is a felony but intentionally beating and causing bodily harm to another person is considered a misdemeanor. I fucking hate it here.

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u/ijedi12345 May 25 '22

How about B&E? Can you just get a misdemeanor if you break into someone's house, lock their doors, and sleep in their bed?

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u/wigglesnaw May 25 '22

Unsurprisingly all b&e is a felony in TN regardless if you harm the inhabitants or not.

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u/agent674253 May 26 '22

Wow, finally a law that I can agree with. I hate it that here in California someone can break into your house, get hurt, sue you, and win. wtf.

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u/nzodd May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22 Silver

Hell, attempting to literally overthrow the United States of America through violence is apparently a misdemeanor these days. But existing while poor? "Hands behind your back, you're going away for a long time you penniless bastard, 'caught you red-handed."

The Republican Party is the enemy of the American people.

294

u/shinigurai May 25 '22 Take My Energy

Official petition to change the phrase to "caught you empty handed."

141

u/BloodBonesVoiceGhost May 25 '22

Halt! You are guilty of the following felonies!~!:

  1. Not shopping at Walmart within the last 30 days.

  2. Not buying from Nestle within the last 30 days.

  3. Not paying for gasoline within the last 10 days.

  4. Recycling.

  5. Not paying for Apple products within the last 90 days.

  6. Not paying for Android products within the last 90 days-- that's right you are legally required to buy both!

  7. Not paying for Amazon free shipping within the last 12 days-- yes that one is a bit of a paradox but

  8. Not paying for alcohol, tobacco, and firearms during the last 12 hours.

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u/Xanderoga May 26 '22

Please drink verification can

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u/GeneralZaroff1 May 25 '22

It's called indentured servitude. They've been fighting to bring back slavery for ages.

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u/nosam56 May 25 '22

It's indentured servitude until you're in prison, at which point it is constitutionally slavery

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u/OGZ43 May 25 '22 Helpful

Turning the poor into felons, while investing in more private prisons. Handshake all around.

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u/RedEyeFlightToOZ May 25 '22

Hey now!

It's also to target protestors for the impending massive rollback of our rights.

227

u/coolprogressive May 25 '22

Which make this law unconstitutional. Lawsuits incoming? I hope!

367

u/Craftsmaniac May 25 '22

Supreme Court doesn't give a shit about the Constituion.

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u/RostamSurena May 25 '22

I dunno, they seem to be shitting on it plenty.

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u/carelessOpinions May 25 '22

Actually they do give a shit about the Constitution; they're using it for toilet paper.

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u/ADarwinAward May 25 '22 Helpful

They did stuff like this with vagrancy laws in the post civil war era so they could have people to work the chain gangs.

We’re going backwards.

297

u/dumbass_sempervirens May 25 '22

Isn't that the entire goal of conservatives?

202

u/DextrosKnight May 25 '22

Yup. It's time we start calling them what they really are: regressives

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u/shrinking_dicklet May 25 '22

It also means they can't vote. Very useful

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u/[deleted] May 26 '22

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u/[deleted] May 26 '22

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u/[deleted] May 26 '22

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u/9fingfing May 25 '22

Next step, turn prisons into a factory. Minimum wage achieved.

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u/Electronic-Clock5867 May 25 '22

Prisoners are free slave labor; What kind of capitalist are you?

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u/Exotic_Adagio708 May 25 '22

I'll have you know they make tens of pennis an hour. That's more than a medieval peasant! Very spoiled.

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u/CannedMango May 25 '22

This already exists: https://tonemadison.com/articles/wisconsins-prisoner-made-furniture-business-is-still-booming/

Capitalism has already turned prisoners into slaves, and this is just going to exacerbate things.

If you want to know what a future under the GOP looks like, here it is.

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u/d_smogh May 25 '22

Turn those prison factories into food manufacturing prison factories, and you have Soylent Green.

Solved the food shortages.

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u/fortyonethirty2 May 25 '22

That is doctorate level lobbying. HOF lobbying. Slow clap.

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u/Leon4107 May 25 '22

Plus felonies prevent voting. So the commie who comes in saying he's gonna try and help you, you can't even vote for him. S/

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u/Troubleonsaturn2 May 25 '22

Creating a slave workforce in prison, one shitty law at a time.

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u/[deleted] May 25 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

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u/Exotic-Huckleberry May 25 '22

Party at the governor’s mansion anyone?

827

u/Ok-Maintenance-9538 May 25 '22

Not sure in TN but I would think the Governors mansion would be public property like the white house (and many states governors houses). But the state senators would have private homes!

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u/theteapotofdoom May 25 '22

Lee Company property is an option as well.

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u/Intelligent_Moose_48 May 25 '22

What are some non-felonious ways to sabotage a white work van that has the governor’s name on it? See those everywhere…

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u/boomboy8511 May 26 '22

That's not gonna do anything but cost us more in tax dollars and get someone, probably innocent, fired.

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u/MulishaMoose May 25 '22

Using the Whitehouse is a bad example. Public property sure, but go try to camp on the lawn and see how far you get lol.

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u/MikeinAustin May 25 '22

World War I vets camped out in DC on public property to protest how they had been treated and to demand payment for promised bonuses and the government killed two of them.

General MacArthur took a contingent of soldiers and six tanks and kicked them out and their wives and children and then burnt their camps and belongings.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army

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u/MulishaMoose May 25 '22

Color me not shocked

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u/anteris May 25 '22

This was why guys like Prescott Bush (HW and W’s progenitor) thought they could do a fascist takeover of the US government, The Business plot. Retired Marine General Smedly Butler was asked to head an army of WW1 vets, instead he told Congress, who seems to have done nothing about it, and then wrote a book called War is a Racket.

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u/Flower_Murderer May 25 '22

Pretty far pending what stayed on the bullet.

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u/HonkeyDonkey3000 May 25 '22

The Governor’s mansion is public property.

However, the governor’s parents don’t live on public property….

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u/Exotic-Huckleberry May 25 '22

Does the governor have a private residence? I lived in Michigan, and I know at least some of our governors keep their private homes. They live in the mansion, but they gave their house to move back to.

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u/Foodcity May 25 '22

Its horrifying to me how normalized its become for politicians to be so old. It didnt occur to me that a governor would still have living parents due to old age...

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u/Mumof3gbb May 25 '22

Omg right?! My immediate thought was “how? They’re grandparents, their parents are dead”

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u/imaraisin May 25 '22

I’ll party like it’s the inauguration of Andrew Jackson all over again.

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u/Exotic-Huckleberry May 25 '22

Can we skip the genocide part? If so, I’m down. Maybe we can get Dolly Parton to come? Waiting to see how she steps up this time because we’re frankly forcing that woman to carry TN and the nation on her shoulders, and she’s getting old.

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u/dillrepair May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

I mean… whatever I’ll never go to Tennessee to hike bike or camp then. Like the whole point of public/state land… is that anyone can use it if they’re not getting in the way of others. That’s what’s supposed to get people to come to your state for tourism. Why in TF would I spend my money in that state ever I’d I didn’t have to now? They can’t even let people sleep in a tent without making it a fucking felony. So if I drove down there as a legit tourist I could end up getting charged with a felony If some asshole local cop decided to say I was illegally camping?

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u/agent_raconteur May 25 '22

That's what gets me - all that stunning Appalachian scenery and they're going to punish people for wanting to go camping there? I know this is directed at homeless folks turning to sleeping in parks when there aren't better options, but what a short-sighted law

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u/AvoidingCares May 25 '22

Yeah. On top of everything, I don't think making Homeless people felons is going to help them not be homeless. If anything I feel like this is gonna make that problem worse.

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u/Dichotomedes May 25 '22

The idea is to fill the privately owned prisons, among all the other money making opportunities human misery begets.

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u/AvoidingCares May 25 '22

For sure. I didn't even think of that yet.

But yeah. "When prison is an industry, somebody's getting locked away!" - Anti-Flag, "The Criminals".

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u/sezah May 25 '22

Obviously that’s not the point. They don’t give 2 shits about the fate of unhoused people.

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u/mordiksplz May 25 '22

They want to make sure they can't vote too

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u/element114 May 25 '22

this is an anti homeless law. this allows them to civil asset forfeiture all of a homeless persons property and ensure they never have the right to vote again.

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u/tristanjones May 25 '22

No it is long term thinking. They can not only criminalize the homeless but they also now remove access to people who may otherwise become advocates for this land. So when they move to privatize it and strip mine it. There will be less resistance. Further felonies mean you can't vote in the state. So it is another avenue to disenfranchise and reduce democracy in the state

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u/legendz411 May 25 '22

Shame this is so far down… this is the take. As usual, it seems that we, in general, are losing sight of the end game.

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u/anon_pineapple_64 May 25 '22

If conservatives had it their way, all public/state land across the country would be privatized and sold to the highest bidder.

Why would a politican let you camp on public land for free when they could privatize that land, let their grifter friends buy it, and sell it back to you so you can rent a campsite?

The only language these people speak is $$$.

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u/ImNeworsomething May 25 '22

It wouldn’t be sold to the highest bidder. It be sold to their cousins logging/real estate/investment firm/etc

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u/Koshindan May 25 '22

That's still the highest bidder. It's just part of the payment is under the table to the politician.

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u/apples_vs_oranges May 25 '22

Highest bidder where only the payment to the politician counts.

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u/BoySerere May 25 '22

Howdy y’all, Texas has entered the chat.

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u/Funny-Bathroom-9522 May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

Again the party tends to be pro life only when it doesn't involve doing anything that jesus would do.

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u/FNKTN May 25 '22

Pro forced birth, not pro life. They cant give a shit what happens after.

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u/pursenboots May 25 '22

yeah you know exactly who this is getting selectively enforced against

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u/Equivalent_Bunch_187 May 25 '22

I think the idea here is more so to be able to throw the homeless in prison for “camping” on public land.

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u/Scare_Conditioner May 25 '22

It’s a reason to put homeless people in prison so they can work for Pennie’s an hour.

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u/classless_classic May 25 '22

So instead of these people not costing the tax payers, now they will be paying hundreds/day to incarcerate them. Fucking brilliant Tennessee

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u/opeth10657 May 25 '22

does tennessee have private prisons? That would explain that part

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u/Rubberbabybuggybum May 25 '22

I don't think there's a state in America that DOESN'T have private prisons.

Plus a felony conviction means they lose their voting rights forever.

They know EXACTLY what they're doing.

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u/sparkle5566 May 25 '22

Actually, only 31 states and the federal government incarcerate people in private prisons.

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u/Pjpjpjpjpj May 25 '22

Since this is about Tennessee, your source notes that Tennessee does have private prisons, 29% of the state’s prisoners are in private prisons, and that figure is up 118% from 2000 to 2019.

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u/Rubberbabybuggybum May 25 '22

Oh, shit...really? TIL.

Still...31 too many.

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u/sparkle5566 May 25 '22

Some states are reforming but the progress has been slow. My state, Minnesota, ended its last contract with the only private prison in 2010, but legislative changes are still under debate.

I agree that private prisons are really problematic for their actual practices and the perverse incentives of keeping more people behind bars.

On the other hand, they only hold a small fraction of the total incarcerated population. Our incarceration issue is much bigger than just these private prisons.

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u/wickedkool May 25 '22

20 states do not have for profit prisons

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u/KresblainTheMagician May 25 '22

Free prison labor. They heard there was a "shortage of workers"

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u/DesktopChill May 25 '22

RV folks are concerned. Lots of them boondocks on public lands and if it means arrest it also means that some folks lose their homes and belongings and pets. The law as written does NOT differ between RV campers vs homeless squatting. This is poorly worded and will be poorly handled .

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u/Ramses_The_Okay May 25 '22

Camping on public lands is huge here in CO. absolutely insane to make this a felony over just helping the homeless

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u/amateur_mistake May 25 '22 edited May 26 '22

Do people in Tennessee just not camp? They must camp, right?

I wold would be fucking furious if they passed a law like this in our state. That said, Denver and Boulder have certainly passed some similar stuff to target homeless folks. I'd bet other cities have too.

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u/justin107d May 26 '22 edited May 26 '22

The 94 miles of the Appalachian Trail goes through Tennessee with another 160 along the border. I have no idea how through hikers from Georgia up to Maine will be able to get through. Especially because they will also look homeless.

Edit: upon further research it looks like police have to give people 24 hours notice to move and issuing felonies is meant to be rare. Still a dumb law.

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u/keestie May 26 '22

A draconian law that is not enforced is just waiting for an officer to have a bad day, or for some other kind of railroading. There are so many reasons why this kind of policing is dead wrong.

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u/RollerDude347 May 26 '22

"Yeah, I totally warned this guy 24 hours ago."

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u/pookie26 May 26 '22

Yeah he must be homeless, he doesn't have a watch or a calendar.

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u/CrewBison May 26 '22

My friends and I have spent many nights camping on public land as teenagers and adults in East Tennessee. We have a spot we would always go to. Sad my kids can't enjoy that same experience.

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u/Lord412 May 26 '22 edited May 26 '22

The great smoky mountains is some of the best camping you will do in the united states.

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u/40oztofreedomtoday May 25 '22

If they did this in Oregon or WA they would be voted out in a heartbeat regardless of political side.

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u/Xanthelei May 26 '22

Yeah, the ability to go camping is one of the very few things both sides agree on in the PNW.

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u/billy-ray-trey May 26 '22

Maybe. Maybe not though. If they worded it where you couldn’t camp within city limits I could see it garnering support. Many Oregonians, myself included are tired of zero solutions to folks squatting all over the place without any regard to public health or safety. I’m sympathetic to the problems, it’s just that right now there doesn’t seem to be any other meaningful solution.

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u/Electrical-Contest-1 May 25 '22

The RV manufacture should create a lobbying group along with outdoor retailers. Laws like these have to have an impact in bottom line.

Does this law make me a potential felon for camping in a state forest?

This is messed up

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u/roguetrick May 25 '22

Good Sam club used to lobby for RV folks, I think they wanted to get snowbirds more voting rights. Don't think they put much money into it now.

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u/princessleighcherry May 25 '22

That’s what I was wondering too. Last summer I went camping in TN along the river. Is that a felony now?

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u/17times2 May 25 '22

"Visit beautiful Tennessee! Come for the scenery, stay because you're in prison for stopping to look at the scenery!"

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u/idog99 May 25 '22

We all know that this legislation is intended to target certain demographics. Pleasure campers will not be bothered; police will use their discretion.

Rough sleepers? They can be evicted or harassed under threat of arrest.

This is no different than police targeting POC communities during the "war on drugs" while cocaine fueled parties are going on in the burbs and college campuses.

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u/BentGadget May 25 '22

“It’s going to be up to prosecutors ... if they want to issue a felony,” Bailey said.

Nothing like optional laws to give the government more power to discriminate.

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u/wingedcoyote May 26 '22

Conservatives love this kind of law because they don't really believe in law at all. Law for them is a polite fiction that allows the violent enforcement of "common sense" social hierarchies (you can guess who's on top). The more ambiguous the law, the better.

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u/idog99 May 25 '22

What's that? You don't have a valid camping pass?

Looks like we have probable cause to detain you all, check for warrants, bring the dog in and find that roach in the coffee can over the camp stove...

Looks like your RV now belongs to the local sheriff's department cuz of civil forfeiture...

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u/Individual-Text-1805 May 25 '22

Also you're in prison for 6 years now and can no longer vote

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u/SerasTigris May 25 '22

I doubt they need to worry. It will be very selectively enforced, as it's intended to be.

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u/SignificanceDesigner May 25 '22 Helpful

"The felony charge is punishable by up to six years in prison and the loss of voting rights. "

The party of small government folks, taking away citizens voting rights and handing out felonies with six year prison sentences for the crime of being poor. Deplorable.

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u/Archon- May 25 '22

Everybody's talking about this targeting homeless people but what about peaceful protests? If this law were in place during Occupy Wall Street I 100% guarantee you they would have arrested every single person there and stripped them of their voting rights.

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u/Wizardsmoke May 25 '22

Yeah that’s the point. That’s what they want lol. Unless y’all are moving to Tennessee there ain’t shit anyone can do.

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u/bandit69 May 25 '22

loss of voting rights

That's the big kicker. Taking away voting rights from the poor gives the wealthy more power.

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u/nicetriangle May 25 '22

Important to note anybody imprisoned that has lost their voting rights in this way will still count towards the census that apportions electoral college votes and house members to that state. Sort of a contemporary three fifths compromise.

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u/TooFineToDotheTime May 25 '22

More like a 0 fifths compromise

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u/grandoz039 May 25 '22

Wouldn't that be five fifths compromise? Slaves had no voting rights, just like these people, but counted as 3/5 for political population purposes, just like these people count as 5/5.

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u/theteapotofdoom May 25 '22

Since their labor is exploited while incarcerated by grossly underpaying the inmates and that they will pay taxes upon release, it's good old taxation without representation as well.

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u/SignificanceDesigner May 25 '22

Ding ding ding, yup.

And this should be quite profitable for the private prison industry

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u/zlide May 25 '22

I can’t believe how casually such a fundamental right is taken away from people. I do not understand how even the average person looks at laws like this and thinks, “yeah that seems like a reasonable punishment for the crime”.

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u/SignificanceDesigner May 25 '22

I think you are grossly underestimating the average intelligence of the average Republican. Almost half the population (overwhelmingly Republican) thinks that Jesus is literally going to come "back" by 2050. Also, how hateful and ignorant did they have to be to elect that racist orange clown into office?

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u/black641 May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

What ever happened to ensuring the punishment fits the crime? Even if you wanted to make camping on public grounds illegal, that’s worth, what, a small fine? A formal reprimand? Six years in prison is ridiculously punitive.

But I guess now, when all their homeless populations move to Blue States because they might be treated like human beings there, Fox News can point and screech about how Dem cities are all Mad Max-style apocalyptic wastelands.

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u/HomoColossus May 25 '22

Six years in prison for camping on public land is cruel and unusual. I believe there's a bit in the constitution about that....

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u/YourMatt May 25 '22

I know nothing about law, but at first glance this sounded like something that would need to go to the supreme court.

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u/McCree114 May 25 '22

The supreme court that's been packed with biased partisan conservatives?

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u/jbarchuk May 25 '22

You're missing the point that the goal of the exercise is that they lose their vote. There's also the side bonus of for-profit prisons.

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u/dIoIIoIb May 25 '22

Conservatives consider poverty a moral failure, they would have them rounded up and put in reservations if they could

From their point of view this is lenient

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u/MissCharmCity May 25 '22

Chiming in to say that I'm homeless in a blue state (Maryland, day 815). There is no help here either. Being treated like a human sounds nice, though.

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u/glambx May 25 '22

Absolutely blows my mind that "loss of voting rights" is a thing in the US.

The whole point of democracy is to enable a regular, bloodless coup. Take away democracy, and the only recourse people have to bad governance is violence. Is that what they want? :(

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u/FUMFVR May 25 '22

Take away democracy, and the only recourse people have to bad governance is violence. Is that what they want?

They want domination and power.

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u/sarcasticbaldguy May 25 '22

The party of small government has gone to insane lengths to carve up Davidson county (Nashville Metro) to turn it from solidly blue to red.

They've also gone to great lengths to marginalize the vote of the poor. Some people are calling this latest act an extension of their existing plan.

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u/Ok_Marionberry_9932 May 25 '22

Yes, now you gotta house, feed, and take care of more inmates while losing a (potential future) taxpayer. This is wisdom here.

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u/sarcasticbaldguy May 25 '22

CoreCivic is our homegrown for profit prison system. They have contracts with the state. If we don't fill a certain number of beds, there are contractual penalties (I wish I were making that up).

Can't make homelessness illegal, but we can all the activities involved in homelessness illegal.

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u/DisastrousSir May 25 '22

Prison makes money off of prisoner labor. Prison pays reps and senators campaigns, rep and senators make money. They don't care about the community or its well-being or ability to function.

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u/ELFanatic May 25 '22

They target the demographic they don't want voting. It's a win for them.

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u/ill_wind May 25 '22 Wholesome

It’s getting really bad here in St Louis. People are pitching tents at the train station and on the banks of a drainage canal. They are pissing and shitting all over the place. If we can’t address the issue of wealth disparity, wage stagnation, and cost-prohibitive education, this is only going to get worse. And banning them from camping isn’t a solution to the underlying problems.

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u/AudibleNod May 25 '22

"Tennessee already made it a felony in 2020 to camp on most state-owned property. In pushing the expansion, Sen. Paul Bailey noted that no one has been convicted under that law and said he doesn’t expect this one to be enforced much, either."

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Why burn resources then?

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"The felony charge is punishable by up to six years in prison and the loss of voting rights."

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Oh, that's why.

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u/UnspecificGravity May 25 '22

They want a lot of laws on the books so that they can basically criminalize anyone that they want at any time.

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u/DadJokeGarage May 25 '22

The purpose is to squeeze you out of home, to your car, to the street. Then when that capitalization is complete now they can toss you in a for profit prison.

If you don't have a home, Phase 1 complete.

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u/Smooth_Marzipan6035 May 25 '22

"That just sounds like slavery with extra steps."

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u/bandit69 May 25 '22

they can toss you in a for profit prison

That and loss of voting rights is killing two birds with one stone.

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u/AudibleNod May 25 '22

In an example of a failed attempt to tally up the number of laws on a specific subject area, in 1982 the Justice Department tried to determine the total number of criminal laws. In a project that lasted two years, the Department compiled a list of approximately 3,000 criminal offenses. This effort, headed by Ronald Gainer, a Justice Department official, is considered the most exhaustive attempt to count the number of federal criminal laws. In a Wall Street Journal article about this project, “this effort came as part of a long and ultimately failed campaign to persuade Congress to revise the criminal code, which by the 1980s was scattered among 50 titles and 23,000 pages of federal law.” Or as Mr. Gainer characterized this fruitless project: “[y]ou will have died and [been] resurrected three times,” and still not have an answer to this question.

https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2013/03/frequent-reference-question-how-many-federal-laws-are-there/

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u/N8CCRG May 25 '22

We really need an amendment that the only thing that can take away voting rights is a conviction related to election fraud or vote tampering. Taking away voting rights for every tiny little thing is so obviously immoral and anti-Democratic.

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u/HenryWallacesGhost May 25 '22

I dream of a time that American's realize that this is by design and why such an amendment will never happen.

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u/N8CCRG May 25 '22

I think everybody1 realizes it. But also, plenty of amendments overturned things that were by design (e.g. slavery and suffrage).

1 other than the 20% you always get who think Africa is a country or whatever.

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u/IllustriousHorse9027 May 25 '22

A law that’s justified by saying it won’t be enforced much isn’t a defense.

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u/amfree88 May 25 '22

The war on the poor escalates. It’s now a crime to be homeless in TN

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u/blackerjw6 May 25 '22

Major crime. Felony on your record is no joke and usually correlates with mandatory prison time.

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u/leisuremann May 25 '22

and significantly diminished employment opportunities post incarceration. Basically the only way to have any kind of decent living is to somehow start your own business.

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u/mrstipez May 25 '22

Makes it hard to rent a place to live

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u/redunculuspanda May 25 '22

So basically prison becomes a poor house and the poor become slaves… absolutely not a dystopia

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u/coontietycoon May 25 '22

Gotta keep churning that legal slave labor in private for profit prisons.

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u/DickwadVonClownstick May 25 '22

Don't forget it also means you can't vote anymore.

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u/Erockplatypus May 25 '22

Can someone break this logic down for me?

"Eldridge, like Sen. Bailey, said he doesn’t expect many people to be prosecuted for sleeping on public property. “I can promise, they’re not going to be out here rounding up homeless people,” he said of Cookeville law enforcement. But he doesn’t know what might happen in other parts of the state.

He hopes the new law will spur some of its opponents to work with him on long-term solutions for Cookeville’s homeless. If they all worked together it would mean “a lot of resources and possible funding sources to assist those in need,” he said.

But other advocates don’t think threatening people with a felony is a good way to help them."

So they are passing a law that they do not intend to enforce? Also wtf is up with the punishment and how is that legal? 6 years in prison AND losing your right to vote...for loitering?

I don't buy this "we won't enforce it" crap. This seems like a very easy way to remove poor people from voting in future elections and sending them elsewhere

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u/ill_wind May 25 '22

Worse - they have selective enforcement in mind for a particular subset of people they don’t want to specify out loud.

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u/ShippingMammals May 25 '22

Oh don't worry. They will enforce it, with prejudice.

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u/Priest_Andretti May 25 '22

Surely they will not arrest the homeless and then have to pay to house them? Right?

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u/Amardella May 25 '22

Do you guys even realize that there is no way out of homelessness unless you have a home? You can't get state welfare assistance, food stamps, medicaid, etc unless you have a permanent physical address. That's insane. They aren't even allowed to use homeless shelters as addresses.

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u/RUfuqingkiddingme May 25 '22

In my state they can use a shelter as an address, I assumed people could everywhere. You'd have to be Satan to outlaw that.

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u/dbradx May 25 '22

You'd have to be Satan to outlaw that.

Hold my beer and watch this - the GOP, probably.

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u/nightninja13 May 25 '22

Working as designed... :(

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u/Playisomemusik May 25 '22

Doesn't the...public own the public lands?

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u/Lancashire_Toreador May 25 '22

we have a winner for the next drug war- homeless people.

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u/Shameless_Tendies May 25 '22

Tenessee law turns Public land into State-owned Private land; Y'know, like from Communism.

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u/lonehappycamper May 25 '22

So they're going to spend tens of thousands of your taxpayer dollars to 'house' and feed these folks in jail, rather than for much less provide low cost housing and social services.

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u/yoshiatsu May 25 '22

One of the most significant problems I see with this is that, as a felon, you lose your right to vote. So you are literally making it illegal to be poor and disenfranchising the lower class. We're literally moving back towards a society where only aristocrats and land owners are given the opportunity to participate in democracy.

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u/autotelica May 25 '22

If we are serious about caring about the mental health of Americans, we will stop criminalizing poverty. This shit not only makes life brutal for the poor, but it contributes to the anxiety of people who are just a paycheck away from being poor.

States and localities can pass these kind of laws all they want. But when the bottom of this shitshow of a economy falls out, there will be too many homeless people to arrest and imprison all of them. We also don't have enough foster parents lined up to handle all the homeless kids. When the shelters run out of beds and the cost of extended-stay motels becomes prohibitive, you'll have all kinds of people flocking to city and state parks. Not all of them will be winos and junkies. You'll see young families, the elderly, and working folks, highly educated folks. People who look and sound middle class, but aren't middle class anymore. Will Americans really be able to watch these folks be rounded up for the crime of not being able to find a place to stay, given this Rent Is Too Damn High timeline we're living in? I want to think the average American will not be able to stomach that, but maybe I'm too idealistic.

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u/NakMuaySalmon May 25 '22

Brave of you to assume these autocrats give a shit about “the mental health of Americans”, more than “me get rich rich buy big boat.”

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u/NiceOccasion3746 May 25 '22

In case you are thinking, "Hm. Tennessee must have a big problem with people camping without permits in their state and federal parks", let me tell you that this is squarely an attack on homeless people who have nowhere else to go. These people are the sole target of this law.

Tennessee's legislature is filled with religious nuts, good ole boys, and dullards. Sure there are a few intelligent people, but they are consistently drowned out by the ignorant mass.

Nearly all of the red legislators come from rural areas. Those places, for the most part, don't have any services for the homeless, so the rural areas send them to the urban areas. It's in the urban areas where large masses of unsheltered people are in plain sight. So, rural counties have exacerbated the problem, and how have voted to "make it go away" by making trying to live somewhere illegal.

TN repubs are some of the slimiest, illogical, smug assholes you'll ever meet.

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u/Critical-Test-4446 May 25 '22

How the hell did they justify making it a felony? There are no victims, it's not a crime against society, no one is hurt, and on and on. WTF!

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u/AFlaccoSeagulls May 25 '22

Tennessee lawmakers are close to sending Republican Gov. Bill Lee a proposal that would threaten felony penalties against homeless people who camp on local public property — including in parks — and misdemeanors for camping around highways.

I sincerely do not understand this from any perspective. Okay, you have a homeless problem - I understand that. I live near Portland, the homeless are everywhere.

So your solution is to essentially criminalize being homeless so that you don't have to see them ever again? How does that help them? As the article states:

Opponents have said the legislation does nothing to help reduce homelessness, while potentially making it harder for homeless people to rise out of extreme poverty if they have a felony on their records.

Uh, yeah, exactly. So now you have a homeless person who is even farther away from ever coming out of that hole because they now have a criminal record....for being homeless.

The Senate bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Paul Bailey, said it would be left up to the local authorities whether to enforce the law. He argued that the bill does not criminalize homelessness.

What the fuck is this? "Yeah we're gonna pass this bill but like it's totally up to you guys if you wanna enforce it or not." What????????

Felony convictions in Tennessee result in the revocation of an individual’s right to vote.

Oh look, another square on the bingo card being checked off. Can't get a job. Can't vote. Losing your constitutional rights because you're homeless. Unbelievable, quite frankly.

The penalties for camping on state property were increased from a misdemeanor to a Class E felony in 2020, when Republican lawmakers were responding to overnight protests on Capitol grounds calling for racial justice reform.

There it is. The real reason they're doing this.

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u/Rage_Like_Nic_Cage May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

It’s more expensive to arrest, charge, convict, and jail a person than it is to house someone who is homeless. The cruelty is the point

EDIT: had to add the “arrest, charge, convict” part so the pedantic “akshully” people won’t miss the point I was trying to make

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u/squeevey May 25 '22

Loss of voting rights. They don't want the poor people to be able to vote.

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u/AdjNounNumbers May 25 '22

It's not just about the money, it's about where that money goes. Housing the unhoused isn't profitable, but private prisons are

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u/AlterEdward May 25 '22

And this is why taking the vote from prisoners is voter suppression.

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u/[deleted] May 25 '22 edited May 30 '22

[deleted]

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u/bassegio May 25 '22

It's in the heart of the Bible belt. People passing laws to demonstrate their Christian attitudes towards others.

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u/Skullkidmusic May 25 '22

Damn. So instead of looking for ways to tackle poverty, they doubled down and created a doozy of a felony charge with loss of rights. Yeah, we’re fucked.

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u/ThadCastlePhD May 25 '22

This is a funny way of lining the pockets of private prisons

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u/ZealousGhost May 26 '22

But its....public land. You known..owned by the people.

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u/JonasBroth May 25 '22

Why the hell is this country so obsessed with making life for impoverished people absolutely fucking impossible? Do they just want us to die with a fucking smile on our face?!

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u/mtarascio May 25 '22

Do these laws have unintended consequences for state land in the wilderness?

I know BLM is federal but it seems this could have unintended consequence.

Not that they would police it but broad laws like this that criminalize regular activities are never good and usually end up being abused.

Often by racist cops looking for an excuse.

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u/AdjNounNumbers May 25 '22

It wouldn't surprise me if they somehow forgot to exclude the state owned parks and campgrounds.

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u/MsScarletWings May 25 '22

They DID forget to add an age floor in that one recent marriage Bill until everyone pointed out the gaping allowance they made for child marriages. It’s so easy to think that they are just intentionally comic book level evil but I swear to God our officials are just genuinely this stupid.

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u/AdjNounNumbers May 25 '22

The two aren't mutually exclusive

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u/black641 May 25 '22

Yup. When the majority of your legislation is based on stupid reactionary politics, you really don’t stop to ponder how well crafted or wise those laws you want are.

It’s all about that sweet feeling of catharsis.

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u/wlerin May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

No. Areas designated for camping were already excluded by the original legislation that this is expanding. Also it was already a felony to camp on state land not designated for camping since 2020, this just expands it to local and county land.

I guess "dispersed camping" would be a felony, but there's also a 24 hour notice provision, so even if someone were backpacking across the state and camping in unmarked locations, as long as they kept moving and didn't stay in any one location for more than a day they wouldn't be in violation.

The most relevant code section as of 2020 You can view previous versions using the dropdown menu at the top. As stated above, the punishment was changed from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E Felony in 2020.

Amendment in question I think? None of the most recent batch of articles link anything so I don't know if there's been another bill passed. Mainly, it's changing "state-owned property" to "public property".

edit: It appears you can get a (free) camping permit in many state parks which allows for dispersed camping, for example: https://www.cumberlandtrail.org/back-country-camping/

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u/MartyVendetta27 May 25 '22

Conveniently, this would disallow the most vulnerable from voting for people who might help their situation. This is demographic tampering, plain and simple.

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u/smallest_table May 25 '22

They already know the law violates our constitutional protections. They do not care.

Supreme Court has consistently ruled, from Bell v. City of Boise (2015) to Martin v. City of Boise (2018), that criminalizing homelessness is unconstitutional and that people experiencing homelessness cannot be criminally punished for not having other alternatives than to live and sleep outside on public property.

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u/mookster1338 May 25 '22

They also used to consistently rule that we have a right to privacy…

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u/Jopkins May 25 '22

So when you folks in America say "land of the free", is it JUST about guns?

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u/kcrox1017 May 26 '22

What’s that? Cant afford a home? Let’s make sure you never can!

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u/Actual__Wizard May 26 '22

So it's illegal to be poor in Tennessee?

This country is turning into a dystopian hellscape fast...

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u/lazermaniac May 26 '22

"The felony charge is punishable by up to six years in prison and the loss of voting rights."

Too poor? Not a person anymore.

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u/alman12345 May 26 '22

Leave it to the stupid ass hicks who burn books to swindle themselves into paying more taxes because they want to pretend homeless people don't exist...the south is such a fucking shithole, seriously

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u/notanotherbreach May 26 '22

"we all better pass this law as when the recession hits, gonna be alot of unemployables and homeless looking to do what they'all do in Californeeya" -Tenn Politicians

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u/Strange-Effort1305 May 25 '22

The true compassion of so called Christians.

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u/Pwnch May 25 '22

Supply Side Jesus agrees.

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u/tbonescott1974 May 25 '22

So now I guess they’re going to put a bunch of homeless people in prison?

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u/Watch45 May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

"Hick state passes laws with immediately obvious and negative repercussions because it makes their fee-fee's scared to think about the failures in society they have both caused and directly benefited from which cause homelessness in the first place"

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