Virus Shutdown Threatens Constitutional Carry Bills in Tennessee

Virus Shutdown Threatens Constitutional Carry Bills in Tennessee, iStock-884202954
Virus Shutdown Threatens Constitutional Carry Bills in Tennessee, iStock-884202954

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- It seemed Tennessee would be the first state to join the Constitutional Carry club in 2020.  From an earlier article on Ammoland:

On 27 February, 2020, at 1 p.m., Governor Bill Lee announced he is proposing Constitutional Carry for Tennessee in 2020.

Both Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson and House Majority Leader William Lampeth endorsed the idea of Constitutional Carry. A specific statute was not in place when the announcement was made. With all three leaders endorsing the popular idea of Constitutional Carry, a bill seemed almost certain of passage. From tn.gov:

“I applaud Governor Lee’s commitment to Tennesseans’ Second Amendment rights guaranteed by our U.S. and state constitutions. This proposal will reduce barriers to ensure citizens have the ability to protect themselves and their families, while imposing stiffer penalties against criminals who possess guns illegally,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson.

“This constitutional carry package is historic because not only does it uphold the freedoms granted to us by our nation’s founding fathers, it also imposes mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines on bad guys who illegally obtain or use handguns,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth. “I want to thank the National Rifle Association for their work over the years in making today a reality, and I look forward to working with Governor Lee, as well as my House and Senate colleagues to get Constitutional Carry passed in Tennessee.”

The United States started 2020 with 16 states which have close approximations of Constitutional Carry.

Constitutional Carry is when residents are not required to have a government permit in order to carry loaded handguns in most public places, either concealed or openly. This was the state of the law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. It wasn't until a generation later that politicians started to infringe on Second Amendment rights, primarily with bans on carrying concealed weapons, then later, after the War Between the States, with requiring permits to carry.

In the 2020 legislative session in Tennessee, several bills were submitted, with considerable differences. Then, the Covid-19 virus, or Wuhan Flu, caught the attention of the legacy media and federal, state, and local governments.

On 19 March 2020, the Tennessee legislature temporarily recessed, stopping legislative action.

Constitutional Carry, which had been endorsed by the Governor, the majority leader in the House, and the Majority leader in the Senate, is dead in the water.

The legislature hopes to resume the session on 1 June. From tenessean.com:

Although lawmakers hope to return as early as June 1, the continued uncertainty of coronavirus has led some members to wonder when it might be safe to return to Nashville to continue their business for the year.

The Tennesee legislature was scheduled to be in session from 14 January, 2020, to 1 May, 2020. It is unknown how long the legislature may be in session after resuming the session on 1 June.

The legislature passed the budget on 19 March; there is little incentive for them to take up much work. 2020 is an election year, and legislators will wish to get out and campaign. Republicans hold supermajorities in both houses, so Democrats have the incentive to limit the session as much as possible. Actions on HB2817, and SB2671 were put on hold as of  18 and 17 of March, respectively.

This shows how events can derail the best-laid plans. No one planned for a pandemic to shut down the legislature for over two months.

How high a priority passage of  Constitutional Carry was to the legislature is unknown. If it had been a priority, it could have been passed rather quickly.

Tennessee Firearms Association has lobbied for the least restrictive version of Constitutional Carry, the Governor and legislative leaders version would include increased penalties for theft of firearms and possession by currently prohibited possessors.

It is possible a version of Constitutional Carry will be passed into law in 2020; if it does, it will be because of strong lobbying by Second Amendment supporters.



About Dean Weingarten: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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Ej harbetGrigoriCharlie FoxtrotpureamericanaJustista Recent comment authors
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Charlie Foxtrot
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Charlie Foxtrot

It is important to be informed on what the details of the proposed bills are and what the politics behind them are. The NRA was about to have its Annual Meeting in Nashville (next weekend, actually), so it decided to engage in some lobbying in TN to show that they are actually doing something. The NRA’s former lobbyist now works for the TN Governor, so they used that connection to create a “constitutional carry” bill that is introduced by the Governor as an administrative bill. It already had the votes to pass, before the legislature went into recess. It wasn’t… Read more »

pureamericana
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pureamericana

Amazing in today’s America, the good decent true Americans that matter have to be concerned with enemies both foreign and now domestic. (D) Party in DC and some states will use any chaotic, crisis event to assume powers, push thru anti-Constitutional legislation and of course harvest money with false facts, figures and outright lies. Beware the Democrat of today cannot always be accepted as a fellow countryman. We are living thru a time when the deck of life and freedom is about to be re-shuffled.

Charlie Foxtrot
Member
Charlie Foxtrot

TN has a Republican supermajority, so the Democrats have no say in this whatsoever.

Justista
Member
Justista

If it is truly “Constitutional carry” they don’t need anyone’s approval.

Grigori
Member
Grigori

I hope Tennessee gets Constitutional carry, open or concealed, without need of a permit. That said, in articles I read about this proposal earlier this year, there was verbiage that was potentially disturbing in the stories I read. I think there were severe penalties or penalty increases for things like providing a minor with a firearm, which could be used to destroy a good person, for instance if they let a minor child carry a gun about their property or left guns where a responsible minor would have access in case their home was invaded. While it has become fashionable… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Member
Charlie Foxtrot

There were more problems with the NRA-supported “constitutional carry” bill, such as it only applied to TN residents.

Charlie Foxtrot
Member
Charlie Foxtrot

@Will, we had a chance to pass constitutional carry in TN last year. Instead, we got an NRA-supported secondary concealed-only carry permit bill passed, because the NRA wanted to make money off the online training for it.

Grigori
Member
Grigori

Thank You, Charlie Foxtrot! I read your longer post, above. Good infotmation, and it does not surprise me that the NRA would pull something like this.

Valkyrie14
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Valkyrie14

Hopefully they” get it together and passed in spite of the sock puppet DemoRATS.

Charlie Foxtrot
Member
Charlie Foxtrot

Nice chest thumping there. Read the article! TN has a Republican supermajority, so the Democrats have no say in this whatsoever.

Grigori
Member
Grigori

Thank You, Charlie Foxtrot!!!! What too many on our side fail to realize is that Democrats are far from being the “only” enemy we have to contend with. Unfortunately, there are plenty of “Republicans” who will gladly cut our throat on these issues at different times.

Ej harbet
Member
Ej harbet

Rinos are worse enemys than the most virulent demoncraps. You see demoncraps coming from a mile eg,hell yes beta. Rinos sneak and back stab