NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gov. Bill Lee has signed the permitless carry bill, also known as the constitutional carry bill, after the Tennessee House passed it last week. The law goes into effect on July 1.
Lee tweeted a photo him signing the bill alongside Rep. William Lamberth (R – Portland).
I signed constitutional carry today because it shouldn’t be hard for law-abiding Tennesseans to exercise their #2A rights. Thank you members of the General Assembly and @NRA for helping get this done. pic.twitter.com/xv2ZenOEZq— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) April 8, 2021
The legislation allows military members ages 18 to 20, and adults 20 and older to carry open or concealed handguns without a permit. Currently, gun owners have to take a training course before carrying a handgun.
It also increases punishments for certain gun crimes. The theft of a firearm will be increased from a misdemeanor to a felony and requires six months jail time for the offense.
While the bill was a priority this year for Gov. Lee, it has received criticism from numerous groups, including law enforcement over concerns it would increase crime. However, supporters claim they're supporting 2nd Amendment rights.