The general assembly finds and declares that:
(1) The threats of terrorism are real and could impose horrific social and economic damage on Tennessee;
(2) Terrorist attacks can dismantle the stability of markets and free trade;
(3) Pricing of consumer goods and services is generally best left to the marketplace under ordinary conditions, but when a declared state of emergency results in abnormal disruptions of the market, the public interest requires that excessive and unjustified increases in the prices of consumer goods and services should be discouraged;
(4) Because of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that took place in New York and Arlington, Virginia, some businesses across Tennessee engaged in the economic practice commonly known as price-gouging;
(5) Protecting the public from price-gouging is a vital function of state government in providing for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers;
(6) The intent of the general assembly in enacting this part is to protect citizens from excessive and unjustified increases in the prices charged during or shortly after a declared state of emergency for goods and services that are vital or necessary for the consumer. Further, it is the intent of the general assembly that this part be liberally construed so that its beneficial purposes may be served.
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