The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill prohibiting public access to the information of federal law enforcement officers and agents operating in the state. Certain personal, financial, and residential information would be considered confidential and likely diminish the potential of the public doxxing law enforcement officers. The legislation passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.
The bill expands current law, which already protects state and local law enforcement. State Representative Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) and Senator Bill Powers (R-Clarksville) are the sponsors on the bill.
“When we passed this bill years ago, we failed to include federal law enforcement such as FBI [and] Homeland Security – so this simply adds that,” explained Johnson during the bill’s first subcommittee hearing last month.
The Senate amended the bill to sunset it after five years. The provisions outlined in the bill will expire unless renewed in 2026.
State Senator Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) introduced the amendment during the Senate floor session at the end of last month. He didn’t offer an explanation for introducing the amendment.
Once amended, the Senate passed the bill without any opposition.
One of the bill co-sponsors, State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) shared a celebratory post regarding the bill’s passage. He explained that officers have been doxxed over the years whenever controversy ensues over riots or law enforcement shootings.
“In our current environment, law enforcement officers sadly become targets for simply doing their jobs,” wrote Griffey. “A law enforcement officer’s job is hard enough without having to deal with public harassment. This is why I was proud to co-sponsor House Bill 347 to make the personal, financial and residential information of federal agents in addition to that of county and city officers confidential. It passed on the House Floor last night. #DefendLawEnforcement.”
The bill now heads to Governor Bill Lee’s desk for final approval.
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