Photo: Representative Vincent Dixie (D) Nashville
Photo Credit: vincentdixiefortn / instagram
Published June 25, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Democratic leaders claim new gun law in Tennessee will lead to a spike in gun violence once it takes effect on July 1.
Representative Vincent Dixie of Nashville says that allowing individuals to carry guns without proper education will be detrimental.
“We’ve seen the rise in violence going on, it’s only going to get worse, because right now we’re going to have untrained people carrying guns that they do not know how to use,” Dixie stated.
Statistics document around 3700 gun-related deaths in Tennessee over the last six years. Those numbers include everything from murders to accidental shootings. In 2021, there are 321 recorded gun-related deaths with over 500 additional injuries.
“We know how devastating this can be to our communities, and we pleaded with the governor, we plead our case and even gun rights activists was thinking this is not a good bill,” Dixie said.
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Members of the Tennessee Firearms Association are quick to point out the fallacy of those arguments.
John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, released a statement debunking those claims.
“Tennessee Firearms Association does not believe that the Governor’s new permitless carry law, which is only a qualified exception to a criminal charge of carrying a firearm with the intent to go armed, will cause any material increase in the illegal use of weapons to commit violent crimes in Tennessee. Claims that allowing citizens to carry firearms have been a common prophecy from gun control advocates since at least 1994 when that type of law was first enacted in Tennessee. However, the claim has never materialized nor has it been verified with actual statistical data showing a true correlation.
“In addition, Tennessee is not the first state to adopt a permitless carry system. Many other states have adopted stronger permitless carry laws. Crime data from states that have enacted permitless carry laws in the past do not support the assertion that allowing citizens to carry firearms without permits results in increased criminal violence. To the contrary, some studies show that violent crime decreases as the number of citizens lawfully carrying firearms increases. That is consistent with national crime data that shows that significant levels of violent crime occurring in those major metropolitan areas that have the strictest laws infringing civilian access to firearms, such as Chicago and New York.
“Tennessee Firearms Association believes that when citizens are armed they are better able to defend themselves, their families and their properties from criminals and the crime data supports that conclusion.”
Some law enforcement officials still feel that the law will be harmful.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s office released a statement saying that gun safety education should be mandatory.
“The Tennessee Sheriff’s Association and Sheriff Bonner do not support the current plan for permitless carry and believe there are not enough precautions in the proposed low. There is a process to obtain a license to drive an automobile, which ensures your ability to operate the vehicle and the testing of your knowledge about traffic laws. There should be similar common-sense requirements before a 21-year-old can start carrying a firearm in public.
“The choice to carry a handgun is a major decision in your life, and it can affect the people around you if you mishandle your gun. Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. wants the people who chose to carry a gun to understand the fundamentals of proper gun safety and to learn the state laws concerning the use of deadly force,” the statement read.
Representative Dixie also expressed concern about those who obtain guns for unlawful use.
“We need to worry about terrorists, gangs coming in and buying guns, and then being able to use them to hurt our constituents,” Dixie said.
A spokesperson for Governor Lee’s office acknowledged the Governor’s desire to protect Second Amendment rights.
“The legislation was a key priority in the Governor’s public safety package this year, which stiffened penalties for illegal gun crime and allocated additional resources for gun safety training. The Constitutional Carry law will protect law-abiding Tennesseans’ Second Amendment rights, while significantly increasing penalties for those who steal or unlawfully possess a firearm, including a mandatory minimum sentence for theft of a firearm.”