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GOA takes aim at Gun-Free Zones in Tennessee

GOA is fighting to tear down Tennessee’s draconian penalties for carrying firearms in “gun-free” zones.

Tennessee Representative Jerry Saxton (R-35) and GOA Tennessee Director Jo Staats

Last week, Representative Jerry Sexton and Senator Joey Hensley
introduced a GOA-backed bill to protect gun owners in Tennessee from undue prosecution for carrying onto a private property that elects
to be a “gun-free” zone (GFZ).

HB 2521 and SB 2521 were filed in their respective chambers and are moving toward committee assignments.

This bill makes huge improvements to current Tennessee law.

Right now, if you accidentally carry into a GFZ, you can get slapped with a weapons violation charge and a $500.00 fine (+ court costs), and your firearm can be seized.

Under the bill, an individual must first be asked to leave the premises or remove the firearm before any legal action could be taken against the individual. The bill would repeal the weapons violation charge and replace it with a simple trespass violation should an individual refuse to vacate the premises or correct the violation of carrying in a GFZ.

The bill also reduces the fine amount from $500 to a maximum of $50 if convicted. This portion of the bill brings Tennessee more in line with nearly every other state in the nation!

The GOA-supported bill doesn’t stop there! Firearm carriers will be protected should they be forced to disarm and have to leave their firearm in a parked, unattended vehicle. The bill requires that any private property choosing to be a GFZ will be legally responsible for securing the safety of individuals on their premises – including in parking lots.

Passage of HB 2521 would exceed many of the nation’s GFZ laws that impact firearm owners.

We still weren’t satisfied with the disarmament of Tennesseans, and so we are glad to see that language was included stating that Government facilities must provide protection to citizens that enter GFZ’s by requiring secure storage at all entrances, as well as security be provided to ensure the well-being of all citizens within the facility while disarmed.

Make no mistake: GOA is still fighting to end gun-free zones in Tennessee entirely. But the fight starts by targeting the nation’s worst GFZ law with both barrels. We need your voice to be heard in Nashville!

Please urge your Tennessee Representative to co-sponsor HB 2521!