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Tennessee: Pro-Gun Constitutional Carry Legislation Advances in Both Chambers – Faces Backlash from Fringe Fundraising Groups

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Constitutional Carry Legislation Advances in Both Chambers – Faces Backlash from Fringe Fundraising Groups

Today, House Bill 786 passed out of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, and now heads to the full committee.  Last night, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved NRA-backed Constitutional Carry legislation, Senate Bill 765, sending the measure to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration. 

NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to remain active and vigilant as an out-of-state fundraising group is attempting to derail this important self-defense measure by bullying pro-gun lawmakers.  This group purports to advocate for Second Amendment rights, but is instead siding with Mom’s Demand Action and other gun control organizations in opposition to Tennessee’s potential Constitutional Carry law.  One of Tennessee’s strongest self-defense bills, House Bill 786/Senate Bill 765 could soon be considered, and  committee members need to hear your SUPPORT.

House Bill 786 /Senate Bill 765 allows any law-abiding adult who is legally eligible to obtain a carry permit, to carry a handgun without first having to obtain government permission. This ensures that citizens may utilize their right to self-defense without government red tape or delays. It does not affect previously issued carry permits, and allows citizens who still wish to obtain a permit in order to carry in other states recognizing Tennessee permits, to do so.  Sometimes called permitless carry, Constitutional Carry would ensure that no honest, hard-working Tennessean is ever left defenseless while waiting for government permission or wading through red-tape.

Thank you to bill sponsors, House Majority Leader William Lamberth and Senator Mike Bell, as well as Governor Bill Lee, for helping to usher these measures through the legislative process.

Again, please contact your members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Criminal Justice Committee and ask them to support House Bill 786 / Senate Bill 765.

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A majority of U.S. states allow permitless open carry. Constitutional Carry recognizes that it is often more convenient and prudent to carry discreetly in a purse or under a jacket.

Eighteen states have adopted Constitutional Carry laws in recent years. Montana and Utah did so in 2021.


Background Facts on Constitutional Carry:

Fact: Eighteen states – Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming – allow law-abiding individuals to carry a concealed handgun without a government-issued permit. 

Fact: Constitutional Carry simply allows a person who is otherwise legally able to possess and carry a firearm to do so in a discreet, concealed manner.

Fact: Constitutional Carry does not change prohibited person laws or any law governing the misuse of a firearm (illegal brandishing, discharge, threatening, etc.), prohibited places where a firearm cannot be carried, or when force may be used in defense of self or others.

Fact: Private property owners still maintain discretion over their own property, including whether, and on what terms, to allow firearms.

Fact: Criminals already carry concealed firearms without regard for the law. Constitutional carry legislation, backed by the NRA, isn't for criminals; it simply puts the law-abiding on equal footing.

Fact: Constitutional Carry helps law-abiding people avoid being targeted by criminals seeking to steal guns or neutralize any source of resistance at the scene of a crime.

Fact: Constitutional Carry gives criminals a reason to fear that any potential victim could be armed and disincentivizes criminal conduct.

Fact: States that adopt Constitutional Carry laws still retain their concealed carry permitting process for gun owners who wish to take advantage of concealed carry reciprocity with other states.

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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.