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Numerous Pro-Gun Bills Advancing in the Volunteer State!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The following NRA-backed bills are currently working their way through the legislature, as the session is winding down. Please contact your State Senator and State Representative and respectfully urge them to support all of the NRA-backed bills listed below without any restricting amendments. For contact information or help identifying your State Legislators, please click here. For Tennessee Legislature Committee information please visit www.capitol.tn.gov/committees/. For contact information or help identifying your State Legislators, please click here.

House Bill 716, sponsored by State Representative Frank Niceley (R-17), would allow any resident who has a valid handgun carry permit to possess a handgun while within the boundaries of any state park. HB 716 passed the House by a vote 71 to 22, on Monday, April 20. It was amended to remove the fiscal note. Senate Bill 976, sponsored by State Senator Mae Beavers (R-17), is the companion bill to HB 716.  SB 976 was amended in the Senate Judiciary on Wednesday, May 6, to allow for permit holders to possess a handgun, while within or on a public park, wildlife management area, natural area, historic park, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by the state, a county, a municipality or locality.  SB 976, passed as amended 7 to 2, and now moves to the Senate Finance Ways and Means Committee. 

Senate Bill 264, sponsored by State Senator Doug Jackson (D-25), would authorize the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) to issue sport fishing and hunting licenses, at no cost, to Tennessee residents who are 100 percent disabled and receive social security disability. SB 264 passed out of the Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee unanimously on April 7. House Bill 569, sponsored by State Representative David Shepard (D-69), is the companion bill to SB 264. HB 569 has been deferred to the last calendar in the House Committee on Conservation and Environment. SB 264 and HB 569 have a significant fiscal note attached and are not expected to be voted on until a later date.

Senate Bill 1557, sponsored by State Senator Tim Burchett (R-7), requires the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) commission to establish by rule how it will implement the federal "Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004," relative to the carrying of firearms by qualified and retired law enforcement officers.  SB 1557 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, May 6.  House Bill 1117, sponsored by State Representative Glen Casada (R-63), is the companion bill to SB 1557.  HB 1117 has been moved to the last House State and Local Committee Calendar.

Senate Bill 1908, the “Second Amendment Protection Act,” sponsored by State Senator Doug Jackson (R- 25), would prohibit the sale of micro-stamped firearms or ammunition in Tennessee. This preventive measure is currently pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee and has been deferred to Wednesday, May 12. House Bill 1924 sponsored by State Representative Henry Fincher (D-42), is the companion bill to SB 1908. HB 1924 has been referred to the House Judiciary’s Sub-Committee on Criminal Practice and Procedure, and is expected to be heard in the coming weeks.

House Bill 82, sponsored by State Representative Johnny Shaw (D-80), would authorize current and retired judges who possess a handgun carry permit to carry a firearm under the same circumstances and conditions as law enforcement officers and correctional officers. HB 82 passed the House on April 2, 85 to 10, and has been referred to the Senate.  Senate Bill 19, sponsored by State Senator Dolores Gresham (R-26), is the companion bill to HB 82.  SB 19 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously on Wednesday, May 6, and now moves to the Senate Calendars Committee.

House Bill 390, sponsored by State Representative Henry Fincher (D-42), would allow handgun carry permit holders to possess or carry a loaded rifle, loaded shotgun, or loaded magazine or clip while in a motor vehicle. HB 390 passed the House on March 19, 82 to 10, and will now be considered by the Senate. Senate Bill 578, sponsored by Senator Doug Jackson, is the companion bill to HB 390. SB 578 passed out of the Senate Judiciary on Wednesday, April 29, 6 to 2. SB 578 is scheduled to be heard on the Senate Floor for Monday, May 11.

House Bill 959, sponsored by State Representative Eddie Bass (D-65), would ensure the privacy of handgun permit holders by making records of permit applications and renewals confidential. HB 959 was amended to allow for the sharing of statistical information. HB 959 passed the House 83 to 12, on Monday, May 4.  Senate Bill 1126, sponsored by State Senator Mark Norris (R-32), is the companion bill to HB 959. SB 1126 was amended to allow the release of permit information to the office of the comptroller to ensure the Department of Public Safety is complying with state law relative to the issuance of carry permits. SB 1126 is expected to be voted on by the Senate in the coming weeks.

House Bill 961, sponsored by State Representative Mike Bell (R-26), would authorize a person with a handgun carry permit to possess a firearm in a refuge, public hunting area, wildlife management area, or on national forest land.  HB 961 has been referred to the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee on Budget.   Senate Bill 1519, sponsored by State Senator Tim Burchett (R-7), is the companion bill to HB 961. SB 1519 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, May 6, and has been referred to the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee. 

House Bill 2376, sponsored by State Representative David Shepard (D-69), would modify the methods of disposing of certain confiscated firearms. HB 2376 would prohibit the destruction of confiscated firearms and require them to be auctioned off or sold to federally licensed firearms dealers. Proceeds from the sale of these firearms would be used to benefit law enforcement agencies. HB 2376 passed the House Judiciary Committee and is expected to be heard by the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, May 12.  Senate Bill 2334, sponsored by State Senator Doug Jackson (R- 25), is the companion bill to HB 2376, and is currently in the Senate Judiciary.  SB 2334 is expected to be heard in Senate Judiciary on Wednesday, May 12.

Currently one pro-gun bill is awaiting Governor Phil Bredesen’s (D) consideration.

House Bill 70, sponsored by State Representative Henry Fincher (D-42), would remove the prohibition against using deadly force in protection of personal property. It would also expand your right to self defense to a business. HB 70 overwhelmingly passed the House on March 19, 89 to 1. The Senate adopted and passed HB 70 on Thursday, April 30, by a unanimous vote of 29 to 0. Senate Bill 474, sponsored by State Senator Andy Berke (D-10), was the companion bill to HB 70 and was automatically sent to a dead file.  Please contact Governor Bresden at (615) 741-2001 and urge him to sign this important self-defense measure. 

Below is a list of pro-gun bills that have been signed into law:

Senate Bill 2276, sponsored by State Senator Jim Kyle (D-28), would authorize the Department of Safety to present a law enforcement officer’s service weapon to the spouse or child of an officer who dies in the line of duty. SB 2276 was signed by Governor Bredesen on May 5. 

House Bill 46, sponsored by State Representative Joshua Evans (R-66), would prohibit the Department of Safety, or any department-approved handgun safety employee from requiring an applicant for a carry permit to furnish any identifying information concerning any handgun the applicant owns or possesses.  HB 46 was signed by Governor Bredesen on April 27.

House Bill 254, sponsored by State Representative Glen Casada (R-63), would eliminate the requirement to provide a thumbprint as part of the background check process when purchasing a firearm. HB 254 was signed by Governor Bredesen on April 27.

Thank you to fellow sponsors, State Senator Jim Tracy (R-16), Republican Majority Leader, State Senator Mark Norris (R-32), and State Representative Eddie Bass (D-65) for their hard work and dedication in passing these important pro-gun measures.

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