Last week, Senate Bill 705, sponsored by Senator John Stevens, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting further action in the Senate. This pro-gun bill would create a new concealed carry permit option that is much less expensive and less burdensome than the current permit. In addition to lowering the fee and reducing number of training hours required to obtain a permit, the new concealed carry permit would allow law-abiding citizens to get their training online. Unfortunately, a disingenuous fundraising group in Tennessee that purports to support the Second Amendment is once again making efforts to divide gun owners in the state. Now, they are even standing with Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group. Like Moms Demand Action, this so-called gun rights group is opposing a pro-gun reform bill that would make it less expensive and burdensome to obtain a permit to carry a firearm for self-defense in the Volunteer State. Don’t let a fundraising group stop pro-gun efforts in Tennessee by trying to divide gun owners. NRA-ILA will let you know when this important pro-gun legislation comes up for another vote.
This week, the Tennessee state Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Constitutional Protections & Sentencing Subcommittee will be hearing a number of bills that would impact our Second Amendment rights in Tennessee.
Also as previously reported, Senate Bill 1178, sponsored by Sen. Steven Dickerson, will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 26th. This gun control bill would create an avenue by which gun owners could lose their gun rights following an ex parte hearing where the gun owner would have no opportunity to challenge the claims being made by a petitioner. A gun owner who has an order issued against them would have no ability to transfer their firearms to a third party. Further, this bill includes vague definitions of relationships without timeframes where someone could petition for an order against someone they have not seen or with whom they have not lived for 40 years.
Senate Bill 1025, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Yarbro, would unnecessarily require that those receiving firearms from individuals unable to legally possess them due to domestic violence convictions must file an affidavit with the court that they are legally allowed to possess firearms. Current federal law already prohibits the transfer of firearms to those not legally allowed to possess them. This puts an unnecessary burden on a law-abiding citizen.
Please click the “Take Action” button below to urge committee members to OPPOSE Senate Bills 1178 and 1025.
Other Anti-Gun Bills to Oppose
House Bill 1224, sponsored by Rep. Jason Potts and a companion to SB 1025, would unnecessarily require that those receiving firearms from individuals unable to legally possess them due to domestic violence convictions must file an affidavit with the court that they are legally allowed to possess firearms. Current federal law already prohibits the transfer of firearms to those not legally allowed to possess them. This puts an unnecessary burden on a law-abiding citizen.
House Bill 1427, sponsored by Rep. Mike Stewart, would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, without exempting transfers between close friends and certain transfers among family members. This would require gun owners to pay fees and obtain government approval to transfer firearms, such as the gifting of firearms to friends or hobbyists trading firearms among themselves. It would particularly impact those living in rural areas who do not live near a licensed firearm dealer. Such a scheme would have no impact on criminals, who acquire the vast majority of their firearms illegally, such as by theft or straw purchase, and would be unenforceable without firearm registration.
House Bill 1428, sponsored by Rep. Mike Stewart, would severely restrict the ability of minors and young adults under the age of 21 to use firearms for lawful purposes. Among other things, it would prohibit individuals from lending a firearm to those who would be unable to purchase that firearm themselves due to age, unless the person lending is directly supervising. Such a restriction would hinder activities such as hunting or competition shooting, where participants may be under the supervision of adults different from the one who loaned the firearm. In addition, it would also prohibit a parent from loaning or gifting a handgun for self-defense to their adult child under the age of 21.
House Bill 1476, sponsored by Rep. G. A. Hardaway, would create fines and penalties for anybody who leaves a firearm or ammunition in a motor vehicle or boat without the firearm or ammunition being stored in a locked cabinet, safe, vault, case, or secured with a firearm locking device if the vehicle or boat is left unattended or with a person under 18 years of age; directs fines collected be deposited in the criminal injuries compensation fund and the domestic violence community education fund. Not only does this legislation intrude on an individual’s ability to effectively defend themselves in certain situations, it would also place the financial burden of completely unrelated funds and programs onto those individuals that it has ensnared.
Pro-Gun Bills to Support
House Bill 172, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison, would streamline state law and remove confusion by updating the definition of “firearm” and “antique firearm” to mirror the terms used in federal law.
House Bill 167, sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth, would create mandatory prison penalties for the theft of a firearm. This legislation would actually punish criminals for their acts, instead of placing the burden on law-abiding gun owners.
House Bill 409, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Griffey, would confer criminal and civil immunity upon a person who uses or threatens force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense from a person committing a criminal offense, unless the person against whom force is used is a law enforcement officer during discharge of the officer's duties and the person knows the person is an officer.
The House Constitutional Protections & Sentencing Subcommittee will hold its hearing on March 27th. Please click here to contact the committee members and urge them to OPPOSE House Bills 1224, 1427, 1428, and 1476 and to SUPPORT House Bills 167, 409, and 712.