Axios Nashville

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Good morning, everyone. It feels like a Wednesday, and we feel good about that.

ğŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Nashville members Ethan Zoubek and Andrew Seamons!

Today's newsletter is 832 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Tennessee House passes bill that would allow armed teachers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The Tennessee House passed a bill yesterday that would allow some public school teachers to carry concealed guns on campus.

Why it matters: This was the last legislative hurdle for the measure before it goes to Gov. Bill Lee's desk.

Driving the news: The measure is an extension of long-running Republican efforts to chip away at firearm restrictions. The bill passed largely along party lines in the House and Senate.

  • Protesters screamed out from the House gallery and chanted "Blood on your hands!" as lawmakers voted.

State of play: Activists have pleaded with lawmakers to enact modest gun-control laws in the aftermath of the mass shooting at The Covenant School. But the Republican supermajority has refused to even debate such measures and instead went the opposite direction yesterday.

Republican lawmakers say allowing teachers to carry guns will improve school safety.

  • Democrats and activists, including some Covenant parents, say arming teachers would make schools more dangerous while increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Zoom in: The bill would allow K-12 public school employees to carry a gun if they pass a background check, receive training and meet other requirements.

  • School leaders would also need to sign off.
  • A Metro Nashville Public Schools spokesperson told the Nashville Banner the district agrees "it is best and safest for only approved active-duty law enforcement to carry weapons on campus."

The big picture: The Giffords Law Center reports that about half of the states have laws allowing some school employees to carry concealed guns.

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2. Oracle chairman says company will bring world HQ to Nashville

Oracle's Larry Ellison says the company will locate its world HQ in Nashville. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Oracle chairman Larry Ellison made the surprise announcement yesterday the company is moving its world headquarters to Nashville.

The big picture: Oracle's $1.35 billion corporate campus and promised 8,500 jobs were already in the pipeline for the River North property on the East Bank.

  • It's not immediately clear what Ellison's announcement will mean for Oracle's presence in Nashville in terms of new jobs or more investment.
  • Ellison made the announcement at the health care industry summit, which Oracle hosted in Nashville. Oracle is a tech giant and the world's largest database management company.

What he said: Ellison celebrated Nashville as a health care leader and a "fabulous place to live."

  • The health care industry accounts for $68 billion in local economic impact and employs 333,000 workers regionally, according to the most recent numbers from the Nashville Health Care Council.

The intrigue: A spokesperson for Mayor Freddie O'Connell said the city is eager to talk to Oracle about what locating the world HQ here might mean.

  • The city approved a $175 million economic development deal for infrastructure at the campus in 2021.
  • "We've been actively engaged with Oracle since very soon after taking office, and it's been clear that they intended to enhance the level of activity at their River North campus," O'Connell said in a statement.

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3. Nashville's favorite grocery stores

Data: Chain Store Guide; Note: Stores under the same brand name have been combined, e.g. Walmart and Walmart Supercenter; Chart: Axios Visuals

Kroger remains the most popular grocery chain in the Nashville area, with 32.7% of the market share as of last year.

  • The grocery giant has expanded its lead over Walmart, whose market share fell to 24.4% in 2023, down more than three points from 2022.

Zoom out: The region's top three options — Kroger, Walmart and Publix — have remained consistent for years. But there were shifts lower in the rankings.

  • Costco moved up a spot to No. 4, climbing past Sam's Club.
  • Target and Dollar General were tied for the same market share in 2022, but last year Dollar General edged ahead.

Between the lines: The data comes from Chain Store Guide, a sales-tracking firm that monitors the retail and food service industries.

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4. The Setlist: Matt Wiltshire's new gig

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

💸 Lawmakers are still debating Gov. Lee's proposal to repeal the franchise tax for businesses. Documents show that, if the plan is approved, a majority of the refund money would flow outside of Tennessee. (Tennessean)

🏈 Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt is a popular player for the Titans to select in tomorrow night's draft, according to experts.

🏘️ Matt Wiltshire, who finished third in last year's mayoral race, took a job as an affordable housing executive with Pathway Lending. (Nashville Business Journal)

Sponsored event listings

Stay booked and busy

📅 Upcoming events around the city.

Tennessee Tasting 2024 at One Fourteen on Sunday: Non-profit Giving Kitchen is hosting their second annual tasting event. A dozen local chefs and bartenders are serving up their best fare under one roof to make a big impact on the lives of food service workers.

  • In addition to delicious food and drink, guests will enjoy a live auction featuring unique experiences, items, and live music. $75-$125.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected].

5. The Predators bring the playoffs to Nashville

Nashville Predators fans during a game earlier this month. Photo: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Fans of the Nashville Predators who can't get tickets to cheer the team on during Stanley Cup playoff games at Bridgestone Arena can join in on the fun at outdoor watch parties downtown.

What's happening: The third and fourth games in the Round 1 series against the Vancouver Canucks will be in Nashville on Friday and Sunday.

  • The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp will host free home game viewing parties on Rep. John Lewis Way between Demonbreun Street and Korean Veterans Boulevard. (That's the street between the Music City Center and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.)

Zoom out: The viewing parties will include entertainment from DJs. Special T shirts and snacks will be on sale.

What's next: If the series reaches Game 6, that will take place in Nashville on May 3.

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Our picks:

ğŸŽ¸ Nate's song of the day is "Guitar World" by Mama Zu.

🥩 Adam is still thinking about his birthday dinner at Sperry's.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Chris Speckhard.