Democrats: Tennesseans Will Die, and Crime Will Rise Because of Bill Lee’s Constitutional Carry Proposal


NASHVILLE, Tennessee — People on the left side of the political spectrum warned Thursday that more Tennesseans will die if Republican Gov. Bill Lee gets his way on his proposed Constitutional Carry Law.

Lee, flanked by several Republican members of the Tennessee General Assembly, introduced the bill at a press conference at the state capitol Thursday.

This bill, if enacted into law, would extend the constitutional rights to carry a handgun to all law-abiding citizens, with or without a permit, who are 21 and over except in restricted areas, Lee said.

The proposed law would also increase penalties on people who steal or who unlawfully possess a firearm. Proposed penalties would include a mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who steals a firearm.

Immediately after the press conference, State Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) told The Tennessee Star that he could not speak for what other Democrats in the legislature will do to fight Lee’s bill.

Republicans hold a super majority in the Tennessee General Assembly.

“I can tell you, as myself, I will push, as I always do, for a bill to at least require a background check before you buy a powerful weapon,” Stewart said.

The Chair of the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus went on to say that “people will unfortunately die or be injured because of this bill.”

When he spoke, Lee said his proposed law “reduces penalties on law-abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong other than exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

To that, Stewart said the following:

“That’s nonsense. Law-abiding citizens can already gain the right to conceal carry permits.”

Also in attendance were members of the group Moms Demand Action, who said they favor more gun control laws. At least one member of that group, a man, booed several times as Lee and other Republican legislators spoke.

Moms Demand Action spokeswoman Caro Frazier told The Star  that the governor will “create an atmosphere that makes it more possible for people to commit crimes.”

“This, to me is pandering to the NRA,” Frazier said.

“We have an NRA national convention coming here in April, and, to me, it’s just opening the door.”

Members of the National Rifle Association are scheduled to hold their 2020 Annual Meeting April 17-April 19 in Nashville, according to the organization’s website.

Frazier said Moms Demand Action has several branches in Tennessee, but she did not specify exactly how many there are or where they are located.

“If people don’t have to go through a permitting system where there are checks and balances then they don’t even have to go through a background check,” Frazier said.

“How will that make us more safe from criminals, when someone doesn’t have a background check?”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bill Lee” by Bill Lee.







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17 Thoughts to “Democrats: Tennesseans Will Die, and Crime Will Rise Because of Bill Lee’s Constitutional Carry Proposal”

  1. James B White

    Citizens need to know that concealed carry classes are available and important. A number of people in our class had not the slighted idea how to handle a firearm. One student accidently discharged his firearm during a lecture at the range. Encourage training please!

  2. William R. Delzell

    The lives of Tennesseans are now in Governor Lee’s hands. He has a real job on his hands once this firearm-carry law becomes reality. If large numbers of law-abiding Tennesseans suffer serious injury or death in any way resulting from this wider proliferation of firearms, particular from those exempt from any weapons-training, the blame will be on him and fellow conservatives. Any huge disaster resulting from this weapons-carry bill, combined with any disaster resulting from homeschooling in the name of combating the coronavirus, could seriously call the legitimacy of conservatism into question inside these state, possibly leading to a political and ideological sea change among the majority of Tennessee voters, whether white or non-white, whether female or male, etc.

    If you think that an anti-conservative backlash could never result in a Southeastern state, look back to the year of 1942 when the then segregated bastion of Georgia with its severe restrictions on voting rights repudiated a conservative incumbent Governor, Eugene Talmadge, in favor of a relatively left-of-center governor even by some northern standards–Ellis Arnall! Georgia at that time was a more conservative state than either Tennessee or Kentucky, but that did not stop the election of a progressive governor who, during only one term, made Georgia the first state in the union to lower the voting age to 18 in 1945, to lower the boom on right-wing terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the Cracker Party, and the Columbians, sending them to long prison terms in 1946. He abolished the state-wide chain gang system in favor of a more humane prison system (although a handful of counties retained chain gags until the 1960’s civil rights era), and slightly eased restrictions against black voting in response to a 1944 Supreme Court case of Smith vs. Alright that outlawed the whites-only Democratic primary. Since Georgia had such a type of primary, this ruling applied to Georgia. It did not apply to Tennessee because Tennessee, with a robust Republican Party, prevented the formation of such a racially-based primary.

    My point is that if a state that once had been more conservative could repudiate a conservative incumbent if only temporarily, then other states like Tennessee and Kentucky could eventually do the same.

    My advice to conservatives is: don’t be too smug.

  3. Ron Welch

    The title of this article is the same old bigotry and prejudice that we saw back in 1995 when gun carry permits were enacted into law in Tennessee. It was repeated with every liberalization of the permit law to end discrimination of citizens who CHOSE to exercise armed self defense which is DECLARED right in the Tennessee Constitution’s Declaration of Rights. These bigotted rantings have always proved to be false.

    1. Joe M Pugliese

      An armed society is a polite society!

  4. What good are weak weapons Comrade Stewart? We have Democrat supporting criminals killed maimed and robbed in Gun Free Zones because we are not allowed the tools the weapon to defend to save our life and property. The Second Amendment protects our inalienable right to bear arms to defend against.criminals and the tyrants of the Left. Nowhere in our Constitution did we give any government the ability to turn our Rights into Privileges, decided like Mike Bloomberg says People can be allowed some Rights, and for us to be forced to pay a poll tax for the Right/turned privilege, a privilege any leftist government cn take away at a whim.
    Training. It is not rocket science to use a gun, to know how, where and when to sue it .
    I carried a squirrel rile everywhere by age 6 on the mountain. I didn’t and don’t need some Socialist or Communist meddling! Look what no Second Amendment did for Mexico! Look what Democrat anti Bill of Rights tyrants did for Venezuela, and Nam where they seized defeat from the jaws of victory. We don’t want and will not tolerate Democrat tyranny in Tennessee. Tell Mike Bloomberg to buy you a ticket to Venezuela.

    1. Ami lou Holt

      Agree 100%

  5. Mike Gilmer

    I support constitutional carry but I suspect Lee is only doing this because of the furor he created by encouraging bringing illegals into Tennessee and his opposition to the Forrest Day law. I bet we will hear nothing more from him on this issue.

  6. Daniel Meredith

    Moms Demand Action spokeswoman Caro Frazier told The Star that the governor will “create an atmosphere that makes it more possible for people to commit crimes.”
    Now just THINK about that statement. Think about it. Exactly what crime is it that will be easier? What criminal will be enabled because Tennesseans no longer have to go through a permitting process? Criminals arent doing it now, so this law won’t affect them.

  7. Ben

    This exact argument has been made repeatedly since before this country was even a country. It has never turned out to be true. There’s a plethora of statistical data from recent times proving this point. This article is nothing more than paranoid fear mongering.

  8. david fowler

    Democrats always pander to gun control. Their gun control push has spread to every state and they say their laws protect citizens. But there is no proof that any laws would prevent shootings or mass shootings. Law abiding citizens will abide by the law while criminals will never listen to any laws. They will get a car, knife or gun or whatever they can to conduct their unlawful acts. TN wants no Red Flag Laws or registry. We already submit to a criminal background check to buy guns. A seller who is responsible will always use these checks. Private sellers should know who they are selling guns to. Mom’s Demand Action is a bloomturd based organization along with Every Small Town for Gun Safety, bent on Gun Control, not safety. As Americans we have our Constitutional Rights to own, carry and use our firearms responsibly and safely as law abiding citizens do.

    1. Ron Welch

      How would Red Flag laws be enforced without violating the 4th and 5th Amendments? Liberals once considered those rights sacrosanct–and rightly so. They championed the 1966 landmark SCOTUS Miranda decision based on those rights. But now they have morphed into authoritarian, reactionary leftists. For now, they’re willing to deny those rights to a vilified group, that is, citizens who choose to exercise their right of armed self defense.

      “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” — John F. Kennedy

  9. Clayton Tolliver

    This is pure hyperbole, rhetoric, propaganda, and outright LIES by the Anti-gun Liberal Left.
    Statistics and facts in other states, PROVE the falsehood of these claims.
    Look at the states, that already HAVE “Constitutional Carry” – to include Tennessee’s neighbor to the immediate north, Kentucky.
    Has their BEEN a sudden upsurge in violent crime? NO. In fact, the opposite has generally proven to be the case

  10. Joe Texan

    Do these “Moms Demand Action” intelligentsia think the criminals aren’t already carrying concealed weapons, and will only begin doing so, without a background check, if the Constitutional Carry law is passed?

    Can someone give those moms some action so they’ll leave us law-abiding gun owners alone?

  11. Kevin

    Listen closely to what the Democrats say, “Law-abiding citizens can already gain the right to conceal carry permits.” I guess they don’t believe in God-given rights, only government awarded permits.

    Also, what a condescending attitude by the Mike Bloomberg-funded Mom’s Demand Action (a 501c4 and c4 organization JUST like the NRA) spokesperson! In the photo’s I see State Representatives Debra Moody, Susan Lynn, Terri Lynn Weaver, Iris Rudder, Mary Littleton, and Esther Helton and State Senators Dolores Gresham and Janice Bowling.

    Most if not all of those women are mothers! And to imply that those mothers don’t care about their children is disgraceful! I believe that they are the mothers who are taking action!

    1. Ron Welch

      Kevin, It’s likely that most of the anti armed self defense women would be very opposed to requiring a permit to kill your unborn child. Yet they oppose the enumerated DECLARED right in the State and Federal Constitutions if a woman wants the CHOICE to carry the means of self defense to protect her own body against the rapist, the robber or the murderer without government permission. Governments have NO lawful delegated powers to require permits for the exercise of our rights!

      1. Kevin

        Ron, I agree whole-heartedly with the last sentence of your last statement, ” Governments have NO lawful delegated powers to require permits for the exercise of our rights!”

        However, that unborn baby, who by today’s statistics has a slightly greater than 50% chance of being a woman, also has rights! And God gave them parents, who are supposed to protect and defend them!

        Maybe that abortion doctor and mother would think twice if when the doctor inserted whatever device was intended to end that baby’s life, out came the barrel of an AR-15. God made man, but Sam Colt made them equal!

        1. LB

          Excellent Reply Kevin!