Tennessee Bill Grants Immunity for Toleration of Second Amendment Rights

By Dean Weingarten

Tennessee Capitol
Tennessee Bill Grants Immunity for Toleration of Second Amendment Rights
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- In Tennessee, SB 1736(pdf)  has passed the House and the Senate. It is a bill that grants immunity for toleration of Second Amendment rights.

It has been enrolled and sent to Governor Bill Haslam.  Governor Haslam promised to sign “Constitutional” carry if it reached his desk, six years ago.  It seems likely that he will sign this bill.

The bill passed the Senate 26 to 4, the House 77 to 13.  The bill follows a trend started by Wisconsin and Kansas, where people who chose to allow others to exercise their Second Amendment rights are granted immunity from civil action for any harm that may stem from that decision.

The Tennessee bill starts with the other side of that position.  People who actively prevent permit holders from exercising their Second Amendment rights may be held liable for harm to the permit holders.  Essentially, if you disarm someone, you are responsible for their defense.  Here is the legislative summary of SB1736. From capitol.tn.gov:

Present law authorizes persons in control of property to post a notice that prohibits firearms on the premises. This bill imposes a duty of care on any person who posts their property to prohibit firearms whereby such person will be responsible for the safety of any handgun carry permit holder while the permit holder is on the posted premises and traversing any area to and from the premises and the location where the permit holder’s firearm is stored. The duty of care created by this bill will extend to the conduct of other invitees, trespassers, employees of the person or entity, vicious animals, wild animals, and defensible man-made and natural hazards.

This bill creates a cause of action whereby any permit holder who is harmed while on posted premises or traversing any area to and from the premises and the location where the permit holder’s firearm is stored may bring suit against the person who posted the property. The full text of this bill specifies the burden of proof that a plaintiff must meet in order to prevail in a suit brought under this bill. In addition to damages, a permit holder who brings a suit under this bill will be entitled to attorney fees and costs. The statute of limitations for actions brought under this bill will be two years.

This bill requires that any person who posts their property to prohibit firearms on the premises must use a sign that includes language citing this bill and the duty of care that such person owes to permit holders.

This bill requires that it be given a liberal construction.


AMENDMENT #1 rewrites this bill to provide immunity from civil liability to a person, business, or other entity that owns, controls, or manages property and has the authority to prohibit weapons on that property by positing under present law, with respect to any claim based on the person’s, business’s, or other entity’s failure to adopt such a policy. This amendment will not apply to a person, business, or other entity whose conduct or failure to act is the result of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

Property managers required to post properties by Federal or State law are exempted.

The legislature has given an incentive for property managers to tolerate the status quo.  It relieves property managers of legal problems and responsibilities if they do nothing.  Doing nothing gains them immunity from lawsuit.  If they take positive action to chill the exercise of Second Amendment rights, they incur liability when their actions result in damages.

Governor Haslam has ten days, not counting Sundays, to sign, veto, or ignore the bill.  By my count, the 10th day will be the 3rd of May, 2016.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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I love this bill. Maybe we should extend this to people that insist on a company performing work for them that violates the company owners beliefs, and make the insistent customers liable for any personal loss the company may incur. Such as bakers, photographers, and celebration venues that perform under threat of having their business destroyed and their personal finances confiscated. If the photographer drops his camera while shooting a wedding, he can sue for replacement. If the business has a perceived loss of customers, they can sue for lost fees. By the way, why aren’t Bruce Springsteen and Boston… Read more »


Dean, great coverage on this current bill. This article should let some of our brethren know, how absurd things have gotten. Yes, yes, yes, this bill was important. If they can’t control the 2cd amendment, they will go after its application.
We’re dealing with cunning, treacherous, people.

Gene Ralno

I’d like to hear from McCain and Flake on these state issues.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall… Read more »


ablehorn, it is always a right, but does it trump the right of a property owner to say what is and isn’t allowed on their property? It is a case of my right to swing my arm end where the other person’s nose begins. This is the way with all rights, they are not 100% absolute in execution, they have restrictions placed on them when they directly interfere with another right. It may not sit well, but it is the way they work. If a property owner has the right to restrict carrying of a firearm when backed by force… Read more »


I’ve been saying this for years. If a private business or public utility are considered a public accommodation also churches. This is what they should be responsible for. I wish Washington state would do this law also.


It is indeed a RIGHT, whether we exercise it or not… which is why I flatly refuse to “leave it at the door,” at all.


WHAT now we have to have laws to grant immunity for the
RIGHT of the 2nd Amendment.
Is it a RIGHT when we leave it at the door.