A clash of press releases on 2017 TN legislature’s gunfights

In press releases, both the National Rifle Association, which advocates for less gun control, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which advocates for more, are pretty much proclaiming victory in the 2017 Tennessee legislative session.

That perhaps indicates the session was pretty much a mixed bag on the gun front. Here are the contrasting press releases:

News release from the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Affairs (NRA lobbying arm):

The first year of Tennessee’s 110th General Assembly session adjourned (Wednesday) with many pro-gun victories.  Those bills passed by the General Assembly include:

House Bill 508 and Senate Bill 445, sponsored by state Senator John Stevens and state Representative William Lamberth, would create a private cause of action for a party that is adversely affected by a local ordinance, resolution, policy, rule, or other enactment on firearms preempted by state law.  This bill would prohibit local government entities from prohibiting or restricting firearms on local property unless certain security conditions are met.  Law-abiding citizens should not be placed in jeopardy of unintentionally violating local restrictions simply because they have crossed from one municipality to another.  Gun owners continue to be unduly burdened by local ordinances which violate the current state firearm preemption law.

House Bill 752 and Senate Bill 983, sponsored by state Senator Dolores Gresham and state Representative Tilman Goins, would allow a person, who is granted an order of protection and who is not otherwise a prohibited person according to state or federal law, to immediately carry a firearm after the initial order of protection is issued.  Within 21 calendar days, the petitioner is required to go through an expedited process at the DMV for a background check and will then be issued a temporary permit for an additional 60 days.  This would allow a person under an order of protection to exercise his or her right to self-defense while allowing time to complete the Tennessee handgun carry permit process.

House Bill 27 and Senate Bill 24, sponsored by Representative Timothy Hill (R-3) and Senator Mark Green (R-22), would exempt active-duty military service members and veterans who have specialties as military police, special operations, or Special Forces from concealed carry permit firing range requirements.

Senate Bill 1339 and House Bill 688, sponsored by Senator Paul Bailey (R-15) and state Representative James Van Huss (R-6), would allow a person to possess or carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, in a motorized boat.

Senate Bill 1077 and House Bill 995, sponsored by Senator John Lundberg and Representative Dawn White, clarifies that when public property is “used” by a school where firearms could be prohibited. This legislation requires students to be present and the activity to be a school-sanctioned event.  This would prohibit situations where schools may be storing athletic equipment in local parks and claiming that the park is being “used” by the school.

Additionally, your NRA-ILA fought hard against more than a dozen anti-gun bills that did not move through the legislative process.  A couple of the more extreme bills that aimed to infringe on your rights, including:

House Bill 961 and Senate Bill 670, sponsored by Representative Johnnie Turner (D-85) and Senator Lee Harris, would allow the issuance of a temporary order of protection preventing a person to possess a firearm based on a law enforcement officer’s judgement that the person is a danger to another person.  This bill would violate your right to due process.

House Bill 962 and Senate Bill 671, sponsored by Representative Harold M. Love, Jr. (D-58) and Senator Lee Harris (D-29), would create within the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations a voluntary “Do Not Sell” firearm registry, making it a criminal offense of transferring a firearm to anyone on the registry.

House Bill 1319 and Senate Bill 1097, sponsored by Representative Mike Stewart (D-52) and Senator Sara Kyle (D-30), would criminalize the private transfer of a firearm by requiring any sale or transfer to be done only through a federally licensed gun dealer with limited exceptions.

News release from Moms Demand Action, under headline declaring ‘Gun Sense Prevails’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Volunteers with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded the defeat of nine dangerous gun policies, including:

H.B. 40 and S.B. 147, which would have allowed people to openly carry loaded handguns in public without a permit or gun safety training.

H.B. 493 and S.B 131, which would have allowed people to carry loaded handguns in public openly or concealed without a permit or gun safety training, expanded the current guns on campus law, and made several other dangerous changes to Tennessee’s gun laws.

H.B. 884 and S.B. 1341, which would have allowed concealed carry permit holders to carry hidden, loaded handguns in the same manner and in the same sensitive places as highly trained law enforcement officials – for example, allowing students and visitors to carry guns on colleges campuses; allowing guns to be carried in elementary, middle and high schools; and allowing guns to be carried in other sensitive areas across Tennessee.

H.B. 1176 and S.B. 339, which would have virtually eliminated the penalties associated with being convicted of carrying a loaded handgun in public without a permit in Tennessee –  effectively allowing people to carry loaded handguns in public without a permit or gun safety training.

H.B. 1006 and S.B. 861, which would have dangerously extended Tennessee’s Stand Your Ground law to provide broad new criminal immunity, including from arrest and prosecution, to alleged shooters.

H.B. 745 and S.B. 975, which would have further expanded Tennessee’s already dangerous guns on campus law.

One Response to A clash of press releases on 2017 TN legislature’s gunfights

  • Diana Page says:

    In my opinion, some legislators seek ever more bizarre privileges for gun enthusiasts as a way to curry favor with the NRA and similar organizations. Of course, theoretically, there is an unending list of such possible provisions. Seems like a dangerous waste to me.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG
Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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