Tennessee, as part of reconstruction after the Civil War, banned the open or concealed carry of handguns. The state constitution was changed to allow this infringement of the right to bear arms in 1870. From the 1870 Tennessee Constitution:
That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime. Art. I, § 26 (enacted 1870).Some Tennessee legislators are attempting to minimize the infringement by reducing the penalty for bearing handguns from a misdemeanor to a civil offense. The penalty would be a fine of $25 for the first offense, and $50 for the second offense.
Tennessee has a shall issue permit law. The law partially restores the right to carry handguns, openly or concealed, but requires a state issued permit to exercise that right.
In order to move toward Constitutional Carry, the intermediate step of reducing the penalty for carrying without a permit would be enacted with HB 1176:
As introduced, reduces the penalty for the offense of carrying a handgun without a permit and with the intent to go armed to a Class C misdemeanor with a $25 fine for a first offense or $50 for a second or subsequent offense and requires a citation to be issued in lieu of arrest. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 and Title 40.The bill has been passed from the Civil Justice Committee to the Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee.
This late in the year, the chances of passage do not look good.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.