U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-— On April 21, 2022, the Tennessee House voted 64 to 28 to pass HB 1735. A similar bill in the Senate is known as SB 2291. The bill is an incremental step toward restoring Second Amendment rights to young adults. The bill requires the department of safety to issue an enhanced handgun carry permit to people who are at least 18 years of age, and meet the other requirements which apply to people 21 and older. Previously, the minimum age was 21. From legiscan.com, bill text:
(b) Except as provided in subsection (r), any resident of Tennessee who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, as defined by § 55-50-102, may apply to the department of safety for an enhanced handgun carry permit. If the applicant is at least eighteen (18) years of age and is not prohibited from possessing a firearm in this state pursuant to § 39-17-1307(b), 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), or any other state or federal law, and the applicant otherwise meets all of the requirements of this section, the department shall issue a permit to the applicant.
In a compromise, the bill prohibits people aged 18 to 20, who have the enhanced permit, from transporting or storing firearms at all sorts of schools; then grants exceptions to those with military connections, as listed in the bill:
(e) Notwithstanding subsection (a), this section does not apply to a person who is under twenty-one (21) years of age and transports or stores a firearm or firearm ammunition in the person’s motor vehicle while on or utilizing a public or private parking area that is located on any public or private school campus, grounds, recreation area, athletic field or any other property owned, operated, or while in use by any board of education, school, college or university board of trustees, regents or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution, unless the person:
(1) Is at least eighteen (18) years of age; and
(A) Is an honorably discharged or retired veteran of the United States armed forces;
(B) Is an honorably discharged member of the army national guard, the army reserve, the navy reserve, the marine corps reserve, the air national guard, the air force reserve, or the coast guard reserve, who has successfully completed a basic training program; or
(C) Is a member of the United States armed forces on active duty status or is a current member of the army national guard, the army reserve, the navy reserve, the marine corps reserve, the air national guard, the air force reserve, or the coast guard reserve, who has successfully completed a basic training program.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect July 1, 2022,
The Tennessee legislature has only a few more days to pass the reform bill if they are going to. The legislative session ends on May 7, 2022. The Senate has a large majority of Republicans, 27 to 6. If the bill passes the Judiciary Committee and is voted on in the Senate, it will likely be sent to Governor Bill Lee for his signature. It is not certain that Governor Lee would sign the bill, but it seems likely. He signed the Constitutional Carry bill a year ago in 2021.
WKRN characterized HB 1735 as giving “18-year-olds the right to carry a gun.” From whnt.com:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you’re 18, it is unlawful to smoke or drink before turning 21, but Tennessee House lawmakers want to give 18-year-olds the right to carry a gun.
Opponents say the bill would increase gun crimes and self-harm, but supporters say it’s a constitutional right all adults should have. HB 1735 lowers the age from 21 to 18 to lawfully carry a handgun openly or concealed.
As shown in the actual bill, the legislation does not “give” anyone anything. It simply allows 18 to 20-year-olds the opportunity to apply for an enhanced carry permit.
Across the nation, permit holders have shown themselves to be more law-abiding than police officers.
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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.