Tennessee Representative Files Legislation Allowing Certain Tennesseans to Carry ‘Any Firearms’

Tennessee Rep. Rusty Grills


A Tennessee lawmaker has filed a bill that would allow certain Tennesseans to carry rifles or shotguns, not just handguns.

Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern-HD77) has filed a bill that “renames enhanced and concealed handgun carry permits as enhanced and concealed firearm carry permits and authorizes a permit holder to carry any firearms, rather than handguns, that the permit holder legally owns or possesses; expands the circumstances in which a permit holder may carry a firearm.”

This would essentially transform the Tennessee handgun permits to firearms permits.

The legislation Amends TCA Title 10; Title 33; Title 36; Title 38; Title 39; Title 40; Title 49; Title 50 and Title 70 by replacing the variations of the word “handgun” with variations of the word “firearms” in many places.

If passed, this legislation would take effect on July 1, 2022.

In 2021, the General Assembly passed a law that is a version of Constitutional Carry that allows most Tennesseans 21 years of age and older to open or conceal carry handguns without applying for a permit. The existing permit program was kept in place due to the state’s reciprocity agreements with other states.

Tennessee has some sort of formal carry permit reciprocity agreements with 17 states. It is unclear how this legislation would affect those reciprocity agreements.

The Tennessee Firearms Association, in their Legislative Report and Calendar weekly email, detailed other bills dealing with guns and the 2nd Amendment that have recently been filed:

SB1773 / HB 1830 was filed by two Democrats seeking to require government agencies to develop programs to reduce gun violence in communities. The bill has a very broad caption and potentially could be used as a caption to do something very different.

SB1816 was filed by Democrat Sen. Heidi Campbell to impose further standards and requirements on the disposition of firearms in the possession of those convicted of domestic violence. The legislation would create a de facto government record of firearms owned by some civilians.

HB1735 was filed by Rep. Chris Todd. It would lower the age limit to 18 for those seeking to carry a handgun without a permit. However, it would retain material “perks” for those 18-20 year olds who are in or honorably released from the military from other 18-20 year olds and thus may give rise to equal protection concerns.

HB1738 was filed by Rep. Mike Sparks. It would extend the sales tax holiday on gun safes for 1 more year.

HB 1769 was filed by Rep. Bruce Griffey. This bill, which was reported in the media as the “Kyle [Rittenhouse] law” would provide a means for someone acquitted on criminal charges because of self-defense to potentially recover their attorney’s fees or costs from the state.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rusty Grills” by Tennessee General Assembly.


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7 Thoughts to “Tennessee Representative Files Legislation Allowing Certain Tennesseans to Carry ‘Any Firearms’”

  1. Ron W

    We already HAVE Constitutional Carry in the Tennessee Constitution Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section 26:

    “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.”

    It is UNLAWFUL for the government to require a permit to exercise a right which applies to ALL rights. And ALL Legislators, Judges and the Governor are DUTY Bound by OATH, to obey the wording of the State Constitution!

  2. william r. delzell

    What type of persons will this lawmaker allow to carry “any” firearm? Some right wing thug or mentally unstable person who wants to wipe out anybody in his or her way?

    1. Ron W


      The “type of persons” who “wipe out anybody in his or her way” are called criminals. They already engage in this criminality with or without this law. In accordance with our declared right of armed self defense, peaceable, law-abiding citizens should be able to keep and carry what legal firearms they may acquire or possess means they CHOOSE to “be secure in their persons” (4th Amendment) especially against such “type of persons”.

    2. Just StoppItt

      Yes, the bill specifically mentions ‘right wing thugs’ and mentally unstable people as those it wants to carry all manner of weapons-cannons, anti-tank weapons, ground-to-air missiles.

      Now you might actually believe that because you are, obviously, too lazy to do the SLIGHTEST bit of research on your own, reading the proposed bill or reviewing the commentary that’s been posted about it. You’re an example of the folks who read a snippet of something, misunderstand it and then post biased comments about what you THINK it says.

      Congratulations- YOU are the problem in America. Now please stop.

  3. Thomas Cox

    Here’s a self-defense question I would like considered by the GA:

    Why does a person with a REAL TN carry permit need an additional permit to carry a telescoping baton or sapper?

    I can carry a legal firearm, capable of expelling a piece of metal (or 17 of them) at nearly the speed of sound, but can’t carry a pocket baton or a sapper that is much less inherently lethal, without additional class time and a test? Is that supposed to make sense?

  4. John

    Criminals are already doing this because – here comes the reality check – criminals don’t follow the law.

    We don’t need anymore laws in regards to guns. There are too many laws already. What part of ‘shall not be infringed upon’ do you politicians not understand? We should not need big daddy government’s permission to exercise our 2nd Amendment right!

  5. LM

    I thought Bill Lee did away with carry permits in TN to begin with.