Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee took action on multiple pro-gun bills affecting law-abiding Tennesseans. On yesterday’s committee agenda were Senate Bill 1496, Senate Bill 1700 and Senate Bill 1701. These three bills have been referred to the Senate Calendar Committee where they will be scheduled for consideration on the Senate floor.
Sponsored by state Senator Stacey Campfield (R-7), SB 1496 passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 6 to 2 vote. Voting in opposition to SB 1496 were state Senators Lowe Finney (D-27) and Doug Overbey (R-2). SB 1496 would allow law-abiding Tennesseans with a Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) to carry a firearm into all state, city, county and municipal parks. Current Tennessee law allows a municipality or county to prohibit the possession of handguns, and therefore one's right to self-defense, while within a public park, natural area, historic park, nature trail, campground, forest, greenway, waterway or other similar public place that is owned or operated by a county or municipality. This law poses a problem for citizens by creating a patchwork of laws across the state with regard to which localities have prohibited firearms in their parks.
SB 1700 and SB 1701, both sponsored by state Senator Mark Green (R-22), passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously. SB 1700 states that incidental exposure of a firearm during the course of securing that firearm in a locked vehicle does not violate state law with regards to having a firearm in a locked vehicle on an employer’s parking lot. SB 1701 would redefine “motor vehicle” under Tennessee’s parking lot law to include all vehicles lawfully possessed by the permit holder with the exception of government or business owned vehicles.
Please contact your state Senator and respectfully urging him or her to SUPPORT SB 1496, SB 1700 and SB 1701. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to update you when more information is available.