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NRA Leads Constitutional Carry Fight in TN

Thursday, February 27, 2020

NRA Leads Constitutional Carry Fight in TN

Bill Expands Self-defense Options for Law-Abiding Tennesseans

Fairfax, VA - The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) is leading the fight for Constitutional Carry in Tennessee, a measure that would expand self-defense options for law-abiding citizens.

Sometimes called permitless carry, Constitutional Carry would ensure that no honest, hard-working Tennessean is ever left defenseless while waiting for government permission or wading through red-tape.

“The Second Amendment is clear and concise and secures the freedoms of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “I am pleased to announce Constitutional Carry legislation today that will protect the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans, while also stiffening penalties on criminals who steal or illegally possess firearms."

 “No organization in our great country does more to promote, protect, and restore our God-given right to self-defense than the NRA,” said Matt Herriman, NRA-ILA Tennessee State Director. “Constitutional Carry is part of the Right to Carry movement begun by the NRA 30 years ago to ensure no law-abiding citizen is ever left defenseless. In Tennessee, and across the country, the NRA leads the fight to protect our Second Amendment freedoms.”

A majority of U.S. states (31) allow permitless open carry. Constitutional Carry recognizes that it is often more convenient and prudent to carry discreetly in a purse or under a jacket.

“On behalf of the NRA’s Tennessee members and supporters, I would like to thank Gov. Bill Lee, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Speaker Cameron Sexton, Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, and House Majority Leader William Lamberth for their leadership in expanding the self-defense options of law-abiding Tennesseans,” concluded Herriman.

Sixteen states have adopted Constitutional Carry laws in recent years. 

Background Facts on Constitutional Carry

Fact: Sixteen states – Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – already allow law-abiding individuals to carry a concealed handgun without a government-issued permit. (Montana allows Constitutional Carry for all areas outside city limits – 99.4% of the state.)

Fact: Constitutional Carry simply allows a person who is otherwise legally able to possess and carry a firearm to do so in a discreet, concealed manner.

Fact: Constitutional Carry does not change prohibited person laws or any law governing the misuse of a firearm (illegal brandishing, discharge, threatening, etc.), prohibited places where a firearm cannot be carried, or when force may be used in defense of self or others.

Fact: Private property owners still maintain discretion over their own property, including whether and on what terms to allow firearms.

Fact: Criminals already carry concealed firearms without regard for the law. Constitutional carry legislation backed by the NRA isn't for criminals, it simply puts the law-abiding on equal footing.

Fact: Constitutional Carry helps law-abiding people avoid being targeted by criminals seeking to steal guns or neutralize any source of resistance at the scene of a crime.

Fact: Constitutional Carry gives criminals a reason to fear that any potential victim could be armed and disincentivizes criminal conduct.

Fact: States that adopt Constitutional Carry laws still retain their concealed carry permitting process for gun owners who wish to take advantage of concealed carry reciprocity with other states.




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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.