Tennessee legislature passes “permitless carry” handgun bill

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – On Monday, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a “permitless carry” gun bill after some contentious debate.

The measure has been a longtime Republican agenda item.

The law, which will take effect July 1, allows for both open and concealed carrying of handguns for people 21 and older without a permit as well as for military members ages 18 to 20. The law would not apply to long guns.

District 3 County Commissioner Greg Martin says that he supports the legislation, and that Tennesseans shouldn’t have to get permission in the form of permits and background checks to carry firearms.

“Fundamentally the second amendment gives people the right to defend themselves in this great country. And we really don’t need the government to give us permission to defend ourselves; we already have that, in the second amendment where it says ‘We the People’. We have a right to bear arms,” says Commissioner Martin.

Tennessee House Representative Yusuf Hakeem had a different attitude toward the legislation. Having voted against it, he said that the bill would lead to a ‘Wild West’ mentality and ultimately would benefit gun manufacturers.

“You add a ‘Wild West’ mindset that makes it open anybody basically to have a gun, and you put fear into people that they need a gun, that’s who benefits – the manufacturers,” says Hakeem.

He adds that the law would waive any requirement in firearm training, and that he thinks anyone who is handling a firearm should know how to properly use it.

“I don’t care who you are, you need some basic understanding of the weapon, some training on it’s usage and the impact of guns.”

The bill now heads to Governor Lee’s desk for his signature.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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