The Tennessee legislature is in the process of reduceing the administrative fees required to obtain a Tennessee handgun carry permit. The current fees are $115. It was discovered that only $77 was required to process the permit.
On Tuesday, February 23, an "administration" bill was presented in the Senate Judiciary Committee that has the effect of cutting the existing handgun permit fees charged to Tennesseans by more than half over time. That bill, which is referenced as Senate Bill 2566, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee members on a 9-0 vote with no significant debate.From tn.gov on HB2575/SB2566:
John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, stated, "The current permit costs $115 and is good for four years. This bill reduces the state fee to $100 and extends the permit to an eight year permit."
Handgun Permits - As introduced, makes various changes to handgun carry permits, including extending permit renewals to occur every eight years and lowering the initial application fee from $115 to $100. - Amends TCA Section 39-17-1351.A companion bill in the House, HB 2575, has already cleared several committees. The Senate and House versions will be hear in the Finance, Ways and Means Committee of the Senate on 1 March and the House on 2 March.
There is a reform trend among the states to reduce the fees for carry permits. In Wisconsin, the fee was reduced from $50 to $40. Wisconsin does not require a photograph or fingerprints; items which add little but expense to the process.
Opponents of high fees contend that they are an especial burden on the poor, and that they chill the exercise of a fundamental Constitutional right.
In some states, such as South Dakota, the fees are as low as $10. South Dakota does not require a photograph or fingerprinting. An electronic background check is deemed sufficient.
The Crime Prevention Research Center(pdf) has found that a $10 increase in permit fees decreases the number of permit holders by about one half of a percent of the adult population:
Each $10 increase in fees reduces the percent of adults with permits by about a half a percentage point.South Dakota and Tennessee are both in the group of states that have legislation pending to remove the requirement for a permit to carry. The removal of the requirement is said to be "Constitutional carry" because no permits were required to carry arms, openly or concealed, when the Second Amendment was ratified as part of the Bill of Rights, in 1791.
Idaho and West Virginia seem the most likely States to reform their laws to Constitutional carry in 2016. Seven states have already instituted the reform; Vermont has never restricted it with a permit requirement.
If the Tennessee legislature passes a Constitutional Carry bill, Governor Bill Haslam has promised to sign it.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch