What Does the Tennessee Permitless Handgun Carry Bill Mean?
Despite opposition from Memphis City Council and law enforcement, the Tennessee legislature has passed a bill that will allow many adults to carry handguns in public without a permit. If the bill is signed by Governor Bill Lee, as expected, it will become Tennessee law in July 2021.
What This Law Entails
This law will allow for the following:
- Open and concealed carrying of handguns for adults over the age of 21 will be allowed
- Military members over the age of 18 will have the same right to carry
- The law will not apply to “long guns”
- A permit will still be required for those wishing to carry a weapon out of state
Tied to the proposed bill are harsher penalties for certain gun-related crimes, including:
- Theft of a firearm will become a felony rather than a misdemeanor, with mandated 6-month incarceration.
- Those convicted with felonies in possession of a firearm will no longer be eligible for early release from jail.
The right to possess and carry a firearm without a permit is obviously a highly contested topic. Seeing the amount of crime that afflicts the City of Memphis on a daily basis, we agree with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Police Director Mike Rallings, and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich in voicing concerns over permitless carry. Such a law will pose an additional threat to Tennessee residents and law enforcement. Imagine the difficulty in responding to a domestic situation or call having to consider that many individuals will be armed.
We Support Safety
We support the right to bear arms as stated in the Constitution of the United States, but with safeguards installed, that can still protect every citizen. Obtaining a gun permit in Tennessee is not difficult or time-consuming. It is a process that responsible people take before carrying a concealed weapon. We hope the new law will not encourage the carrying of a concealed weapon just because it makes it easier to do so. I think everyone can agree that the last thing Tennesseans want, or need, is our younger generation having easier access to weapons.
The states allowing permitless carry is growing each year, so time will tell if such a law is beneficial. Hopefully, everyone who chooses to carry a concealed weapon will do so in a responsible manner, with concerns for the safety of everyone around them.
Chiozza Is Prepared
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a weapons crime, Chiozza Law Firm is here to help you navigate legal proceedings during this confusing and often frightening time. Our compassionate attorneys have helped people just like you claim damages and restitution in the event that you’ve been involved in a gun-related accident. Reach out now and learn how our firm can help.
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