Goins becomes latest incumbent to announce retirement from General Assembly

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Republican Rep. Tilman Goins (R-Morristown) is the latest sitting lawmaker to announce he won’t seek re-election this fall.

“It is now time to step aside so that someone else with a heart for service can bring their perspective to help continue fighting for the people of Morristown and Hamblen County,” Goins said in a release Monday.

Goins was first elected in 2012 after defeating incumbent Rep. Don Miller in the Republican primary by 228 votes.

Goins is the chairman of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Last year he was the sponsor of the “Tennessee Hearing Protection Act,” which removed firearms silencers from the list of weapons banned under state law that also includes machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, and brass knuckles.

The possession, manufacture or sale of a silencer was considered a felony under current state law. Critics argued that the new law (which passed both chambers overwhelmingly) could be confusing to state gun owners because federal law still controls silencers.

Goins in 2016 was among 14 Republican lawmakers who declined to vote on the ouster of Rep. Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin). The vote to expel Durham was 70-2, just four more than the minimum two-thirds needed to succeed. That vote came following the release of a state attorney general’s report detailing allegations of Durham’s improper sexual interactions with more than 20 women.

Goins last year voted against Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s road funding plan known as the Improve Act. The initiative included a 6-cent increase in the state tax on each gallon of gasoline, but also made cuts in the taxes on groceries, income from stocks and bonds, and businesses. The measure passed 60-37 in the House.

Meanwhile, how did Goins get through his time at the General Assembly without anyone asking him about this?

Here’s the full release:

(MORRISTOWN) – State Representative Tilman Goins (Morristown) today announced that he will not seek re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Representative Goins is currently serving his third term in Nashville where he chairs the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and serves on the Criminal Justice and Business and Utilities Committees.

“Serving the people of District 10 has been one of the greatest, and most humbling, experiences of my life,” said Goins, “It is now time to step aside so that someone else with a heart for service can bring their perspective to help continue fighting for the people of Morristown and Hamblen County.”

Representative Goins has a long history of public service. Goins served on active duty in both the US Marine Corps and the US Army, and is a former Hamblen County Commissioner. Goins’ activism in and around Morristown is evident in his serving on several local area boards, as well as in his annual job fairs and art contests.

Goins has also won several awards and recognitions during his time in Nashville, including having been honored by his peers in the house for rendering lifesaving aid to a legislative staffer the day before swearing in for his first term. Goins is considered one of the more conservative members of the Tennessee House and has won multiple recognitions from various conservative organizations such as the American Conservative Union.

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