Tennessee Firearms Association Warns One State Senate Bill Does Not Comply with Second Amendment


Members of the Nashville-based Tennessee Firearms Association on Wednesday said members of the Tennessee General Assembly are considering three permit-less carry bills, but one of them does not fully comply with the Second Amendment.

TFA Executive Director John Harris told followers by email that the bill to which he refers, Senate Bill 765, is scheduled to make its way to the Tennessee State Senate floor Thursday. The Tennessee General Assembly’s website identifies the sponsor as State Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin).

“This bill is NOT real constitutional carry. It has been repeatedly described by legislators as only ‘kicking the ball’ down the field or as an incremental step,” Harris wrote to followers.

Harris went on to say that it is “an incremental permit-less carry bill and it’s one that perpetuates and adds infringements on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Harris, in his email, said he had the following concerns:

The bill “does not apply to everyone who can legally possess a firearm” and that it “only applies to those who are at least 21.”

• The bill “creates an exception for a class of individuals who are 18-20 years old and who are in or honorably retired from the military.” Harris went on to say that “the decision to treat one class of citizens differently than another raises a likely equal protection problem.”

• The bill “perpetuates the infringement on the right of the people to carry long arms” and “only creates an exception for handguns.”

• The bill restricts people with certain DUI convictions and “appears to enact a lifetime ban on certain individuals who have a history of mental illness.” Harris said the proposed latter restriction likely jeopardizes federal grants under the NICS Improvement Act of 2007-2008. He said that law “required states to enact laws to remove disabilities on those with certain prior mental health disqualifiers as a condition of receiving federal grants.”

Johnson told The Tennessee Star Wednesday that he and Harris “have a philosophical disagreement.”

“Yes, the Lt. Gov. [Randy McNally] felt strongly about people being convicted of a DUI, one in the last five years or two in the last 10 years. The data suggests, on average, a person convicted of a DUI has driven intoxicated dozens of times. If someone is so irresponsible that they would drive while impaired [then] I don’t know that they should carry a weapon,” Johnson said.

“In terms of being adjudicated by a court as mentally defective, yes, we do prohibit those people from carrying as well, and I think that is just common sense.”

Johnson told The Star that some people may desire him to remove certain provisions from his bill.

“But, at the end of the day, if we are going to get the bill passed [then] this will affect 99.99 percent of law-abiding citizens that wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Johnson said.

“If someone is going to nitpick over one-one-hundredth of a percentage point of people that might be impacted by some of these provisions, well, they’re letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]








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2 Thoughts to “Tennessee Firearms Association Warns One State Senate Bill Does Not Comply with Second Amendment”

  1. Hordes called Lt Governor Randy McNally telling them WE DID NOT WANT THE GOVERNOR’S NOT CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY BILL SB 765 AND HB 764!!
    Senator Johnson basically said this is what the governor and i want you are going to get and tl heck wt the Second Amendment and desires, demands, and expectations of what we we would get based on false promises of the Governor during his election campaign. Big Business and Michael Bloomberg have more say than Tennesseans and our Constitution.
    correct me if I’m wrong but you will still have to sit through 8 hours of scarem and you better not use your firearm and pay hundreds of dollars in total to get Carry Permit to carry in other states. Other Constitutional States with exception allow anyone a legal US Citizen to Carry in their state! Others allow it if your Drivers License is from a Constitutional carry State. That is the way it should. b. If other States wont’ honor 2A Rights and Tennessee’s recognition of 2A, then their Citizens would be restrained to not carry outside their vehicle or motel or motel room when traveling though Tn..or acqurte Tn Non Resident Permit by just asking for one!
    Americas including Tennesseans or especially Tennesseans off handcuffs on our Natural and inalienable Rights to possess all firearms to save our lives and property, of having to jump through hoops, get permission slips, and guessing where we are allowed to defend life and property, and where the Tyranny form the Left and Businessmen say you do nto have the right to defend your life and property here and there we won’t! .

  2. Ron Welch

    Do our legislators and the Governor not READ that yo which they take an oath. Our own State Constitution DECLARES our right to keep and bear (which means carry) firearms for self defense!

    That the citizens of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime. –Article I, Section 26

    There it is!! A RIGHT can and shall NOT be subject to a permit, payment, license or background check! To do do is UNLAWFUL!

    Constitutional Carry should simply be PURSUANT to the wording of that the Citizens’ DECLARED RIGHT! Our Legislature and Governor are DUTY BOUND BY THEIR OATH OF OFFICE to obey those words!

    Otherwise, they only have delegated power to legislate “THE WEARING” of what we have a RIGHT to carry, with a view to prevent crime. That is restricted to requiring something like pistols be holstered or long guns carried by sling. That is all!

    Our elected and appointed EMPLOYEES must operate within the constraints of their delegated powers and NOT violate or infringe upon our DECLARED RIGHTS!