Today, Governor Haslam signed two important pieces of NRA-backed, pro-gun legislation into law.
House Bill 508 and Senate Bill 445, sponsored by state Senator John Stevens and state Representative William Lamberth, would create a private cause of action for a party that is adversely affected by a local ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, or other enactment on firearms preempted by state law. This new law significantly reduces gun-free zones throughout the state by preventing localities from prohibiting the carrying of firearms on locally owned property unless specific security measures are in place. The Tennessee General Assembly passed this measure in the final days of the session despite opposition from gun control groups. This law will go into effect on July 1, 2017. Law-abiding citizens should not be placed in jeopardy of unintentionally violating local restrictions simply because they have crossed from one municipality to another. Gun owners continue to be unduly burdened by local ordinances which violate the current state firearm preemption law.
House Bill 752 and Senate Bill 983, sponsored by state Senator Dolores Gresham and state Representative Tilman Goins, would allow a person, who is granted an order of protection and who is not otherwise a prohibited person according to state or federal law, to immediately carry a firearm after the initial order of protection is issued. Within 21 calendar days, the petitioner is required to go through an expedited process at the DMV for a background check and will then be issued a temporary permit for an additional 60 days. This would allow a person under an order of protection to exercise his or her right to self-defense while allowing time to complete the Tennessee handgun carry permit process.
Thank you to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters for contacting your legislators in support of these important bills. NRA-ILA commends the bill sponsors and the Tennessee General Assembly for fighting to promote and protect your right to self-defense by passing these pro-gun bills.