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Tennessee: Busy Week Ahead for Committees in the Volunteer State

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tennessee: Busy Week Ahead for Committees in the Volunteer State

On Tuesday, April 2, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider gun control legislation.  Senate Bill 1178 is legislation that could deprive you of your Second Amendment rights without due process.  Please contact committee members and strongly urge them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 1178.


Senate Bill 1178, sponsored by Sen. Steven Dickerson, will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 26th.  As previously reported, 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.

Again, please contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and strongly urge them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 1178,

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Also next week, multiple gun bills are scheduled in multiple committees for consideration, including:

Pro-Gun Bills to Support:

Senate Bill 403, sponsored by Senator John Stevens, creates 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.  Senate Bill 403 is scheduled for consideration in the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 712, 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 712 is scheduled for consideration in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

House Bill 409, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Griffey, would confer 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.  House Bill 409 has also been scheduled for consideration in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Anti-Gun Bills to Oppose:

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 1427 has been scheduled for consideration in the House Constitutional Protections and Sentencing Subcommittee on Wednesday.

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 1428 has also been scheduled for consideration in the House Constitutional Protections and Sentencing Subcommittee on Wednesday.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.