Freshman State Representative Todd Warner’s (R-Chapel Hill) bill would limit government interference with the sale of firearms and ammunition. Under the “Tennessee Firearm Protection Act,” neither state or local governments may use funds, property, or personnel to implement, regulate, or enforce federal laws or executive orders regulating the sale of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories.
The legislation also clarified that the prohibition would only apply to resource usage if it violates a state law or the state constitution. Warner introduced the bill on Monday.
Warner, who is still under investigation by the FBI for undisclosed reasons, didn’t respond to request for comment from The Tennessee Star. Recent reports speculated that the investigation may be in relation to campaign finances, due to Warner’s explanation for delayed filings in an email to the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance Ethics Commission. However, authorities haven’t stated officially the reason for the investigation.
In the latest Facebook post dated January 11, Warner’s attorney wrote that the representative was shocked by the raid, and hasn’t faced any charges.
“Rep. Warner can assure the citizens of his district that he has violated no laws and welcomes any investigation,” read the post.
Last year, Governor Bill Lee announced that he would be proposing “constitutional carry” legislation. The measure was halted in a subcommittee due to its projected negative impact on the state budget – especially in light of the financial strains caused by the pandemic. In December, Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) introduced legislation of his own that he said represented “true constitutional carry.”
Warner’s proposed legislation is the latest in a series of gun reform laws introduced over the last few weeks. Other proposals include teaching firearm safety in schools, modifying law enforcement weapons confiscation exchanges, and waiving veteran application fees for enhanced handgun carry permits.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Open Carry” by Lucio Eastman. CC BY 2.0.