TFA Legislative Report for March 15, 2019 and Calendar for week of March 18, 2019

There are several bills which have had activity during the week of March 11, 2019 and which are scheduled to be heard during the week of March 18, 2019. Please see the full PDF reports (links below) for more details.

The Calendar report contains 11 pages of bills that are set for various hearings next week. A few, a small percentage, appear to be good ideas that are supportive of the constitution and the exercise of your rights as protected by the 2nd Amendment. Most of the other bills are bad ideas, pandering, or going in the wrong direction and should be stopped without further infringement of our rights or cluttering of the state’s statutes.

SB705 (Stevens) is set for March 19 in Senate Judiciary. This is a bill that purports to create a second permitting system in Tennessee which would be “concealed only”. It will, as amended at present, still require an application to the Department of Safety, fingerprinting, a state background check, and a training requirement of at least 2 hours from a Department of Safety approved course. This bill does not reduce the number of gun free zones for existing permits. This bill may or may not have similar reciprocity rights in other states. This bill does not have the same defenses to carrying a firearm on certain properties. The bill suggests that it is “free” to the applicant but in reality the bill has a fiscal note of approximately $1 million per year that the tax payers will incur to run this program. The need for this bill is not clearly justified by the 2nd Amendment.

HOWEVER, this bill has a very broad caption. It could be amended to create a true constitutional carry law such as Kentucky and Oklahoma have passed already in 2019 and which others states like Alabama and Georgia are seriously considering. Please call the sponsors and your individual legislators to encourage them to amend this bill to pass constitutional carry in Tennessee in 2019!!! 

HB545 (SB1401) by Boyd.

 This bill is in House Judiciary on March 20. This is a curious bill which highlights a serious problem with the shenanigans being used in the legislature to mislead the public on the true objective and language of bills. 

As filed, this bill was described as increasing the number of days that a person had to apply for an expedited handgun permit following the grant of an order of protection. When the bill was presented last week in the Senate Judiciary, the sponsor described it as a “caption bill” which was code for “the real intent of the bill has nothing to do with the language or description that the bill originally had.” A “caption bill” normally is a misleading placeholder that is filed with the intent that at some future point another bill doing something generally entirely different can be substituted. That is the case here. The Amendment that was filed on the state website several days after it was adopted by the Senate Judiciary has nothing to do with the original bill’s description. The Amendment seeks to create an exception to the existing “posting” statute to allow a person who in “good faith” enters a posted property not realizing that the property is posted to leave the property without being charged with a crime if they do so immediately. While this might be a good bill, the intentional practice of using misdirection and filing initial and misleading “caption bills” is a serious impairment to openness and transparency that should not be a common practice in the legislature.

There are several bills included in the reports (below) which are bad bills that are set for hearings next week and/or which are making progress. Please review the reports for more details.

Please contact your legislators concerning these bills. It is important that we keep reminding them about the bills which remove infringements on our rights but it perhaps more important that we demand as voters that they put a stop to any proposed legislation the detracts to the smallest degree from our constitutionally protected rightsThe bill status report and the bill calendar can be accessed through the TFA’s website at this page

It is important that you review these reports and contact committee members and your individual legislators with your opinions, particularly your support or opposition.

Committee compositions, calendars and members are found on the State Website

You can look up your individual legislators on the State’s “Find my Legislator” page.

John Harris

Executive Director

Joining and supporting TFA is an investment in the fight to restore our constitutional rights and to fight against politicians who are willing to sell their votes and your rights to whichever business interest gives them the most money!

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