guns

MTSU poll finds increase in support for stricter gun laws among TN voters

Press release from Middle Tennessee State University

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Support for stricter laws on gun sales has jumped to 58 percent among Tennessee registered voters, according to an MTSU Poll taken during the same week as the “March for Our Lives” demonstrations in Washington D.C. and around the country.

The latest level of support represents a 24-point climb from the 34 percent support measured two years ago using the same question. Support for stricter laws on carrying guns has risen, too, from 34 percent two years ago to 46 percent now, a rise of 12 points.

Continue reading

Tennessee bump stock ban scuttled in committees without discussion

A Democrat-sponsored bill to outlaw bump stocks in Tennessee died without discussion Tuesday in Republican-controlled committees of the state House and Senate.

Continue reading

House committee kills bill authorizing teachers to carry guns; ‘School Safety Act’ advances

A  bill authorizing teachers to carry guns in classrooms was voted down in a House committee Tuesday after an outpouring of opposition following earlier approval in a subcommittee. Only four members of the 13-member House Education and Planning Committee had themselves recorded as voting in favor of the bill sponsored by Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) as it was defeated on a voice vote.

On the other hand, the “School Safety Act of 2018,” which would to provide more funding to hire off-duty law enforcement officers to patrol schools (HB2129, as amended) has won approval in committees of both the House and Senate. The measure, introduced originally as a caption bill, is sponsored by Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Gray) and Sen. Mark Green (R-Ashland City).

Continue reading

House-passed bill cutting gun law violation penalty dies quietly in Senate

A bill reducing the maximum penalty for illegally carrying a gun from $500 to $250 – approved 72-20 by the House earlier this month after considerable debate – died quietly in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Sponsoring Sen. Mark Green (R-Ashland City) briefly described the measure (HB2586) when he brought it before the committee, suggesting it would apply in situations were a person “accidentally forgot” he or she had a firearm. Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) then promptly declared it had failed because there was no seconding motion from any member of the panel, as required under parliamentary rules. There was no further discussion.

As noted by WPLN, law enforcement, gun control groups and the governor’s office had all voiced opposition to the measure.

Previous post HERE.

Bill to arm TN teachers advances; sponsor says Haslam school safety plan not enough

A controversial bill that would let designated Tennessee educators go armed in schools cleared another House hurdle Tuesday, despite concerns raised by law enforcement officials and others, reports the Times Free Press.

Continue reading

Advancing bill broadens mandate for reporting mental health commitments

Many persons involuntarily committed to mental health institutions currently are not reported to the TBI for inclusion in the database of those ineligible to buy a gun because of a quirk in Tennessee law that would be eliminated by pending legislation, reports the Johnson City Press.

As things stand now, mental health hospitals licensed under Title 33 of Tennessee Code Annotated are mandated to report involuntary commitments. But hospitals licensed under Title 68 – including general acute care hospitals that have a psychiatric wing – are not.

SB2365, introduced as a caption bill, has been amended in committee “to fix this loophole,” the article says. Sponsors are Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) and Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) and the TBI is advocating the measure as amended.

Continue reading

House GOP leader: Leave bump stock ban to the feds

House Republican leaders have declared there’s no need for Tennessee’s legislature to pass a Democrat-sponsored bill banning firearm “bump stocks” because it’s being handled at the federal level, as U.S. General Jeff Sessions mentioned in a Nashville speech, according to The Tennessean.

Continue reading

Reports of guns in TN schools running at double national average

Tennessee has double the national rate of kids caught bringing a gun or possessing one at school, state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told the opening session of Gov. Bill Haslam’s working group on school safety on Thursday. At the same time, the state currently has just 865 school resource officers assigned to protect an estimated 1 million children in the state’s schools.

Continue reading

Haslam spokeswoman: ‘Political affiliation did not play a role’ in appointing school safety panel

Through a spokeswoman, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is pushing back against criticism of his appointments to a  task force assigned to study school safety and recommend revisions in state laws or policy, reports the Times Free Press. Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris has been the lead critic, saying the 16-member panel is solid Republican with no Democratic members “where a bipartisan consensus is sorely needed.”

Continue reading

House votes to cut fine for carrying gun without a permit from $500 to $250

The state House voted 70-20 Monday evening  to reduce maximum first-offense penalties for carrying a handgun without a state-issued permit from $500 to $250. The Times Free Press reports the vote came despite criticism from Democrats and concerns from the Haslam administration as well as some law enforcement officials and others.

Continue reading