Twenty-eight (28) new Tennessee bills filed this week – five (5) are on notice for hearing next week

Tennessee Firearms Association - Tennessee Firearms Association

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After a week off due to disabling snow in Nashville, the Tennessee Legislature returns to work on February 22, 2021. This week there are several bills that are set for committee hearings including HB18 which is sponsored by Bruce Griffey and HB786 by William Lamberth. Both are set to be heard on the 5pm Criminal subcommittee in the House on Wednesday, February 24.

HB18 allows someone who can legally possess a firearm to carry it in Tennessee. Another major aspect of this bill is that it equates someone carrying pursuant to this exception with those who have the enhanced permits for purposes of creating an exception to various “gun free zones” like public parks, greenways, and other public venues. It also allows employees to rely on the safe commute law passed several years ago. The fiscal note for this bill has just been released and estimates that the stay will loose millions of dollars per year if this infringement on the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment is repealed (see fiscal note below).

HB786 is essentially Governor Lee’s permitless carry bill. It creates an exception but only for a limited number of individuals and only for handguns. It only applies to Tennessee residents. The additional qualifications are that “(1) The person meets the qualifications for the issuance of an enhanced handgun carry permit under § 39-17-1351(b) and (c) … (2) The person lawfully possesses the handgun; and (3) The person is in a place where the person has a right to be.” The fiscal note on this bill estimates a loss of $2.4 million per year from decreased sales of handgun permits and an increased expenditure of $17.7 million per year in additional criminal expenditures for the crime portion of the bill.




John Harris

Executive Director

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