Legislature Votes Down Handgun Carry Bill

Posted at 2:33 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 15:33:17-05

A bill that would allow handgun carry permit owners in Tennessee to "carry a firearm at any time and in all places" has failed in the Civil Justice subcommittee.

The bill does have some exceptions, including in if the permit holder is under the influence of alcohol, attending a judicial hearing or is on school grounds and has not notified school administration. HB 0884 was sponsored by State Representative Judd Matheny and Senator Paul Bailey.

Supporters argue permit holders should have the same privileges as an off-duty law enforcement officer. However, opponents say the bill puts Tennesseans and even law enforcement in danger.

A representative from the state Department of Safety said this bill would allow permit holders to carry in police stations. He said the idea of others having the same rights as police makes him uncomfortable.

The bill contained a fiscal impact of $436,179,800. That money is attributed to money lost if handgun permit carriers were allowed to bring guns into sports stadiums. The Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman, Representative Mike Carter, said the state would be in violation of both NHL and NFL rules about guns in stadiums and the bill may risk the franchises of both the Titans and the Predators.

Legislators voted the bill down unanimously.