TFA: Senate Judiciary advances “incremental” permitless carry

TN Senate only takes an ”incremental step” that falls short of real constitutional carry

On March 2, 2021, the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee considered SB765 by Senator Jack Johnson (House version is HB786 by Rep. William Lamberth) which bill is commonly referred to as the “Governor’s Bill”. This bill is primarily a massive $17 million dollar per year crime package but it does contain a section that addresses permitless carry in Tennessee.

With almost no debate and minimal discussion, the Senate Judiciary passed SB765 and sent it to the Senate Finance Committee. The vote on the bill, as expected, was on party lines with all 7 Republicans voting for the bill (including three with long histories of frequently opposing or killing 2nd Amendment legislation) and the two Democrats voting against it.

This is not a REAL Constitutional Carry bill.  Indeed, two of the senators on the committee even commented that it does not achieve what “everyone” wanted but that it is an “incremental” step that moves the “ball” down the field.

The full TFA report on this legislation includes extended quotes and video clips of the hearing.  Because of the length of the report and the included files and video clips, it is important to view it on the TFA’s website.

The record is clear.  The Senate Judiciary passed a crime package bill that contains an incremental, permitless carry provision for some but not who can legally possess a firearm.  It does not apply to all of the firearms that are protected by the 2nd Amendment, but only to handguns.  It also does not address issues like “gun free zones” that do not have exceptions for permitless carry but do have exceptions for those with the state permits.

In addition, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee just approved a similar “incremental” bill on March 3.  It is not Real Constitutional Carry and it is only, as the senators noted an step toward the goal of real constitutional carry.

After you get up to speed by reading the TFA’s full report, it is critical that you start making phone calls.  Call to demand “Real Constitutional Carry so that any person who can legally possess a firearm can carry that firearm”.

The people to call are

Governor Bill Lee (615) 741-2001
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (615) 741-6806

Speaker Cameron Sexton (615) 741-2343

Your individual House and Senate members (look up their names and numbers)

The Legislature has the opportunity to pass Real Constitutional Carry this year but they need to hear loud and clear from you, your friends and others.  They need to know that calling something “Constitutional Carry” does not somehow magically change a incremental permitless carry bill to a bill that truly removes infringements prohibited by the 2nd Amendment.
John Harris
Executive Director
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