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Tennessee Firearms Association Members Call For Constitutional Carry Now

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Article first appeared at Ammo Land.

NASHVILLE, TN-(Ammoland.com)- The Tennessee Firearms Association’s Executive Director, John Harris, today called on the Leadership and Members of the Tennessee General Assembly to move SB0131 and HB0493 to the respective floors for a full debate and final passage. This groundbreaking piece of legislation is being carried by Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) and Sen. Mark Green (R-Ashland City) both of whom have indicated their strong beliefs in the need to restore Constitutional Carry as the law in Tennessee.

“At least 13 states already have Constitutional Carry. That means more than 25% of the states already has this law and the trend is rapidly increasing. Kentucky and other states are likely to pass it this year. Indeed, Constitutional Carry just passed last month in New Hampshire and it has passed in other states like Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia in the last few years. It is way past time for passage of this legislation in Tennessee.” Harris continued, “With a Republican super majority in both Houses and a Republican Governor who is on the record committed to signing such legislation, there is no just cause for delay. Indeed, the fact that several New England, Democrat-controlled, states give their citizens full participation in the 2nd Amendment ahead of Tennessee is a constant embarrassment to liberty-loving, constitution embracing Tennesseans.”

As Senator Green recently discussed on a televised special, Tennessee’s legal code actually assumes that carrying a firearm by a citizen is a crime “unless” certain “defenses” apply. What may surprise many is that those defenses include carrying a firearm at home, on your own land, while hunting and other activities that most citizens view as their absolute right.

Harris noted, “Tennessee law is actually completely opposite of what most Tennesseans think about their right to carry a firearm. Under our statutes, for example, it is a defense to a criminal charge that you are carrying a firearm on your own private property or even for self-defense. Tennessee law should be rewritten to line up with the United States Constitution which clearly provides that the rights of the citizens in this regard shall not be infringed. This legislation is designed to do just that.”

Harris continued, “Our historical ‘piecemeal’ attempts to bring us in line with questionable federal mandates and the delusional fantasies of political correctness have resulted in numerous conflicting and inconsistent statutes that defy the understanding of the citizens. Our criminal laws, particularly if they impact protected rights, should be clearly written and so easy for everyone to understand that there is no question about what activity is a crime and what is not. Further, the laws should not cross the line of constitutional boundaries and attempt to regulate activities which the constitutions state shall not be infringed. We need to repair this now.”

Harris concluded, “Tennessee voters are 2nd Amendment savvy and their elected officials have little to gain in getting crossways with their voters. We saw that just a few years ago with the massive rejection by gun owners of Rep. Debra Maggart which defeat gave rise to the term ‘Maggartized.’ Republicans campaigned as being strong on the 2nd Amendment and they have had absolute control of the Legislature for the last 7 years. Yet, efforts to get floor votes on Constitutional Carry, permitless open carry and the elimination of gun free zomes have repeatedly been blocked by the curious paths of those bills through the Leadership controlled committee system. It is as if Leadership and the Governor know that these laws will pass if put before the entire Legislature for a vote and they have done everything necessary in the last 7 years to keep that from occurring. If Constitutional Carry comes to the House and Senate floors for open debates and recorded votes, it will pass.”

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