The Tennessee House passed the bill allowing permitless open or concealed carry, dubbed the “Constitutional Carry Bill.” It will head to Governor Bill Lee’s desk, where it’s expected to be signed.
Under the bill, anyone 21 and older could lawfully carry without a permit, for both open and concealed carry. These provisions would only apply to handguns. A slew of House amendments proposed to the bill were withdrawn.
During the third and final hearing of the bill, State Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) argued that citizens shouldn’t have to ask government permission, pay fees, and attend classes in order to exercise their Constitutional rights.
If you think that one class, one time in your life makes you a perfectly safe firearm owner and user, you don’t understand firearms. If you own firearms, learn to store them safely, go to classes regularly, go out to the range all the time – go as often as you possibly can, learn that weapon and understand how to safely utilize it if you need to defend your own life or someone else’s. But the difference between the mentality on this bill is that there are those of us that believe in this legislation that say you should not be required to pay a fee, ask permission of the government, and yes go to a class that, while helpful, is not the end of the day. We do not believe that you should have to do those things to exercise your Second Amendment rights. This is a massive step forward for freedom.
Some supporters of limiting gun regulations have certain concerns with this bill. Tennessee Firearms Association Executive Director John Harris remarked that the more appropriate name for the bill would be “permitless carry.” He said that it didn’t deserve the title “constitutional carry” because it doesn’t guarantee that any citizens can carry.
Rather, Harris suggested that the better bill would be one proposed by State Representative Chris Todd (R-Madison County).
The House passed the engrossed version of the Senate bill, 64-29. The only Republicans who voted against the bill were State Representatives John Gillespie (R-Memphis), Patsy Hazelwood (R-Signal Mountain), Eddie Mannis (R-Knoxville), Mark White (R-Memphis), and Sam Whitson (R-Franklin). Only one Democrat voted for the bill: State Representative John Mark Windle (D-Livingston).
Watch the session:
– – –