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Lee pushing for permitless gun carry in Tennessee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Thursday that he backs legislation to allow adult Tennesseans to carry handguns without a permit, training or background checks.

During a news conference, Lee said: “The Second Amendment’s clear and concise and secures the uninfringed right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Today, I’m announcing that we will be joining 16 other states in this nation by introducing a constitutional carry law in the state of Tennessee.”

If passed, this measure would allow gun owners to carry firearms openly or concealed and take them everywhere that guns are allowed. Guns would continue to be prohibited at parks, schools, churches and other areas.

Currently, obtaining a permit to carry requires training, background checks and a fee. This permitless carry Lee speaks of would cost nothing and would not require training. One caveat would be that this option would not translate to other states unless those states have similar agreements with permitless carry.

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This legislation also makes theft of a firearm a felony rather than a misdemeanor, with a six-month incarceration sentence mandated for that crime. This would also mean heavier sentences if a firearm is stolen from a car, providing to a juvenile or possession of a handgun by a felon. Purchasing a handgun would still require passing a federal background check.

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