The Tennessee House Republican Leader has filed a bill lowering the handgun carry age from 21 to 18.
The bill lowers the age requirement to lawfully carry a handgun in public and to obtain a concealed or enhanced carry permit.
The bill description states:
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, relative to firearms.
Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, lowers the age requirement to obtain an enhanced or concealed handgun carry permit or lawfully carry a handgun in public from 21 to 18 years of age; states that the statutory authorization to transport or store a firearm or firearm ammunition in a motor vehicle under certain circumstances does not apply to a person under 21 years of age in a parking area that is owned, operated, or while in use by any school, unless the person is at least 18 years of age and meets certain military qualifications. – Amends TCA Title 39.
HB1735 does not allow for an individual under 21 years and older to store or transport a firearm on a school campus unless that individual is 18 years of age and is:
(A) Is an honorably discharged or retired veteran of the United States armed forces; (B) Is an honorably discharged member of the army national guard, the army reserve, the navy reserve, the marine corps reserve, the air national guard, the air force reserve, or the coast guard reserve, who has successfully completed a basic training program; or (C) Is a member of the United States armed forces on active duty status or is a current member of the army national guard, the army reserve, the navy reserve, the marine corps reserve, the air national guard, the air force reserve, or the coast guard reserve, who has successfully completed a basic training program.
Should the bill become law, it would take effect on July 1, 2022.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco of Firearms states the minimum age requirements for gun sales and transfers on their website. If the seller or person initiating the handgun transfer is unlicensed, then the minimum age is 18, with certain exceptions and in compliance with state and federal law. There is no such requirement for long guns.
Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) have different requirements. According to the ATF, “Under federal law, FFLs may not sell, deliver or otherwise transfer a handgun or handgun ammunition to any person the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under the age of 21.” For long guns, the age is 18.
Given Leader Lamberth’s position within the State House Republican Caucus, his co-sponsorship of this bill means it is likely to receive strong consideration.
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.