The first year of Tennessee’s 110th General Assembly session adjourned today with many pro-gun victories. Those bills passed by the General Assembly include:
House Bill 508 and Senate Bill 445, sponsored by state Senator John Stevens and state Representative William Lamberth, would create a private cause of action for a party that is adversely affected by a local ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, or other enactment on firearms preempted by state law. This bill would prohibit local government entities from prohibiting or restricting firearms on local property unless certain security conditions are met. Law-abiding citizens should not be placed in jeopardy of unintentionally violating local restrictions simply because they have crossed from one municipality to another. Gun owners continue to be unduly burdened by local ordinances which violate the current state firearm preemption law.
House Bill 752 and Senate Bill 983, sponsored by state Senator Dolores Gresham and state Representative Tilman Goins, would allow a person, who is granted an order of protection and who is not otherwise a prohibited person according to state or federal law, to immediately carry a firearm after the initial order of protection is issued. Within 21 calendar days, the petitioner is required to go through an expedited process at the DMV for a background check and will then be issued a temporary permit for an additional 60 days. This would allow a person under an order of protection to exercise his or her right to self-defense while allowing time to complete the Tennessee handgun carry permit process.
House Bill 27 and Senate Bill 24, sponsored by Representative Timothy Hill (R-3) and Senator Mark Green (R-22), would exempt active-duty military service members and veterans who have specialties as military police, special operations, or Special Forces from concealed carry permit firing range requirements.
Senate Bill 1339 and House Bill 688, sponsored by Senator Paul Bailey (R-15) and state Representative James Van Huss (R-6), would allow a person to possess or carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, in a motorized boat.
Senate Bill 1077 and House Bill 995, sponsored by Senator John Lundberg and Representative Dawn White, clarifies that when public property is “used” by a school where firearms could be prohibited. This legislation requires students to be present and the activity to be a school-sanctioned event. This would prohibit situations where schools may be storing athletic equipment in local parks and claiming that the park is being “used” by the school.
Additionally, your NRA-ILA fought hard against more than a dozen anti-gun bills that did not move through the legislative process. A couple of the more extreme bills that aimed to infringe on your rights, including:
House Bill 961 and Senate Bill 670, sponsored by Representative Johnnie Turner (D-85) and Senator Lee Harris, would allow the issuance of a temporary order of protection preventing a person to possess a firearm based on a law enforcement officer’s judgement that the person is a danger to another person. This bill would violate your right to due process.
House Bill 962 and Senate Bill 671, sponsored by Representative Harold M. Love, Jr. (D-58) and Senator Lee Harris (D-29), would create within the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations a voluntary "Do Not Sell" firearm registry, making it a criminal offense of transferring a firearm to anyone on the registry.
House Bill 1319 and Senate Bill 1097, sponsored by Representative Mike Stewart (D-52) and Senator Sara Kyle (D-30), would criminalize the private transfer of a firearm by requiring any sale or transfer to be done only through a federally licensed gun dealer with limited exceptions.
Thank you to those NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their legislators in support of these important pro-gun bills. Also, thank you to those legislators who supported our Second Amendment rights and right to self-defense in Tennessee.