Lawmakers Target TN Constitutional Carry Bill
During the 112th General Assembly, some real Constitutional Carry heroes emerged! Representative Jerry Sexton and Senator Paul Bailey have been fighting a battle to bring last year’s Permitless Carry bill that Governor Bill Lee supported to a level that targets real Constitutional Carry status!
HB 2524 and its companion bill, SB 2866, would remove the current language “with the intent to go armed” that makes it a crime to carry a firearm for self-defense. It would also remove the need for Tennessee’s gun laws that create “exceptions” or “qualified defenses” for breaking that law.
The bills would lower the age restriction from 21 to 18 years of age, change “handgun” to firearm so that long guns are permitted for carrying, as well as a number of other restrictions and prohibitions Tennessee lawmakers have passed over the years. The bills would also remove the privilege for some to carry in locations where others are prohibited, such as the permitless carry prohibition in parks.
Unfortunately, politics in Nashville is beginning to resemble a certain swamp in need of draining!
Representative Chris Todd (District 2) has also been fighting to get a solid pro-2A bill (HB1735) through the House during the 112th Session. His bill would lower the age restrictions for carrying a handgun from 21 to 18 years old.
HB 1735 moved through the House subcommittee and full committees and was scheduled for a full-House vote on the Monday, April 4th. However, Representative Todd was approached by a Republican Caucus Leader and asked to roll the bill until a later date. The Caucus Leader didn’t want some of “his members” to be recorded on a pro-gun bill vote till after April 7th, the deadline for candidate filing.
Because Representative Todd believes strongly in our right to keep and bear arms, he agreed to roll his bill with a promise from leadership in both the House and Senate that HB 2524 and SB 2866 would pass from all committees and receive floor votes in both chambers of the General Assembly.
Confident that Tennessee gun owners would gain the ground that Governor Bill Lee and other lawmakers promised, Representative Todd kept his end of the deal.
The promises were shattered during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for SB 2866 less than two days later!
Senator Todd Gardenhire made a motion to move the bill to Summer Study, Nashville’s legislative-speak for killing a bill. All but two Committee members voted in favor of Gardenhire’s motion. Senator Kerry Roberts and Vice-Chair, Senator Dawn White voted for We the People!
But Chairman Mike Bell, Senators Paul Rose, Sara Kyle, London Lamar, Jon Lundberg, and John Stevens had no plan of keeping any promise to Representative Todd, and most especially to the People of Tennessee.
According to conversations between Senator Bell and others, Governor Lee opposes improving “his permitless carry” law. This is evidenced by the Tennessee Department of Safety’s repeated testimony opposing the measure based primarily on “philosophical principles.”
It’s Time for Tennessee Gun Owners to Fire Back!
House Speaker Cameron Sexton appears to be joining the fight for getting HB 2524 through the House committee chambers! He is calling for an amendment to the House bill that would remove the atrocious amendment passed at the demands of the Department of Safety while in subcommittee and wants the bill moved to the full House for a vote.
But the Speaker has more power plays in his pocket than some in the Senate may have considered! Speaker Sexton can withhold the budget bill, delaying its movement to the Senate where it will pass without much consideration. The legislature cannot adjourn (and move into campaign mode) till its passage. Many in the legislature are facing re-election this year, and for several of the incumbents, they will be campaigning in newly drawn districts. It is imperative for several to finish their business in Nashville so they can hit the campaign trails.
We have an opportunity to see some exciting things happen in Nashville in the next few weeks!
Tell McNally to Keep Leadership’s Promise!
Lt. Governor Randy McNally could prevent delays, or the need for any power plays from the Speaker of the House, by recalling SB 2866 out of Summer Study for a Senate vote. It’s that simple.
He could just keep the promises made to both Representative Todd and to the People of Tennessee.
He has the power to do that. The question is does he have the authority to do it. Will Governor Lee’s administration allow our Legislators to represent their constituencies? Or are we truly in a swamp that governs from the Executive branch of our state’s government?
The only way we’ll know is if you Take Action right now! Contact Lt. Governor McNally to have SB 2866 recalled from Summer Study and give it to the Senators we elect to represent us!