Tennessee Republicans Remind Public of New State Laws Set to Take Effect Thursday


Tennessee Republican lawmakers approved many new laws this year that the state will enact starting Thursday, July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Tennessee State Senate GOP officials described the changes in an emailed press release on Tuesday.

New legislation, they said, “strengthens Second Amendment rights, protects the dignity of unborn babies, and ensures small businesses are not unfairly targeted during a pandemic.”

Among the new laws:

Legislation that guarantees law-abiding Tennesseans can carry a firearm without a permit. Under the legislation, that State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and State Senate Judiciary Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville) sponsored, a citizen must have reached the age 21 years of age or older or are active duty military or honorably discharged military in order to qualify. The measure also cracks down on criminals by increasing penalties for theft or illegal possession of a firearm.

• Abortion providers must treat the remains of aborted children with the same dignity and respect provided to any other deceased human being. The Unborn Child Dignity Act, which State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) sponsored, requires proper burial or cremation for a surgically aborted child. The law addresses the health, safety and moral concerns over how to properly dispose of human fetal remains.

• The Tennessee Business Fairness Act puts all businesses on the same playing field in a declared state of emergency, so small businesses are not forced to close while their bigger competitors stay open. Businesses can remain open during a pandemic if they follow guidelines that any government issues to keep their customers and employees safe. State Sen. Bill Powers (R-Clarksville) sponsored the bill.

• The Tennessee Accommodations for All Children Act, which Bell sponsored, requires a public school to provide a reasonable accommodation to a student who has conveyed through a written request that they are unwilling or unable to use multi-occupancy restrooms or changing facilities designated for the person’s sex.

• Another new law, which Bell also sponsored, ensures rioters who are paid or come from out-of-state receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 days incarceration. The court must order restitution for any injury, property damage or loss incurred as a result of the offense.

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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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11 Thoughts to “Tennessee Republicans Remind Public of New State Laws Set to Take Effect Thursday”

  1. Cheryl Seymore

    After reading the new legislation for carrying without a permit, I see that many women are being excluded from this! It says to qualify, you must be 21 years old, and must have been in the military, either active now or honorably discharged. I don’t know the figures, but I truly believe that the percentage of women who were never in the military is much higher than those who were! That leaves A LOT of women out of this legislation. Do we, the non-military women, still have to carry a permit?

    1. Ron W

      Correct Cheryl. The law SHALL NOT discriminate according to “the equal protection of the laws” (14th Amendment, ESPECIALLY in the matter of a DECLARED RIGHT clearly stated in Article I, Section 26 of our State Constitution and the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights!

      1. Horatio Bunce

        Bill Lee’s Fake Constitutional Carry was destined to immediately fail Constitutional muster. On purpose, or are TN Republicans really this obtuse…after all these super majority years this is the best the GOPe can do….you decide.

    2. Barbara

      You need to read that again. That pertains to people under the age of 21. If you are 18 to 21 you can carry if you are an active military or honorably discharged

    3. BL Duley

      Are you 21 or older? I believe the conjunctions used are “or” not “and”. It really isn’t a hassle for most of us to carry a permit. They can act as your ID just like a driver’s license.

    4. mike

      if you are under 21 you must be in the service or a veteran.

    5. Kendra Tilley

      Not if you are 21. Stop whining. You could always join the military. Not sure how you think this excludes women.

    6. NJPBA_600

      That’s incorrect, it is not written that way, read every word.

      …a citizen must have reached the age 21 years of age or older “OR” are active duty military or honorably discharged military in order to qualify…..

  2. This “Constitutional Carry”means former National Guard who were never deployed in war and have less than 6 years in the Guard cannot carry under the new Law. Also those who did not serve because they could not pass the physical etc. This includes most Women who are Tennessee Citizens as 99% never served! This means MOST CITIZENS cannot carry without paying for and taking an 8 hour scar’em course and paying the Jim Crow poll tax fora permission slip to carry! And the list of places this “Constitutional Carry”i forbidden is long
    This is not Constitutional Carry in any way!

    1. Ron W

      Very true, Casca. We actually ALREADY HAVE a declared right in Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee Constitution’s, wait for it, DECLARATION of Rights. That is, we the People of Tennessee DECLARE our invioable rights to the State!

      As I instructed my elected Legislative officials, that by OATH and DUTY, a Constitutional Carry law should be precisely pursuant to our DECLARED RIGHT to keep and bear (carry) any lawfully owned firearm for our self defense!

  3. Ms Independent

    Too late on the small business law. Mr lees mandatory closure of non essential businesses last year forced many to file bankruptcy. As usual Republicans always a step behind….