Governor Lee Wants Constitutional Carry Bill For Safer Tennessee

Governor Bill Lee Has Continued To Show His Support For Tennessee’s Constitutional Carry Bill As It Passes Through The House. The Bill Was Voted On By The Finance, Ways, And Means Committee And Will Move On To The Calendar And Rules Committee. 

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Photo Credit: Michael Tefft / CC

Published March 24, 2021

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

Despite opposition against Constitutional Carry, Lee has continued to voice his support. During a video call with several NRA members on Monday, the governor called the bill a key part of his “public safety agenda.”

Lee said, “That includes criminal justice reform. It includes support for law enforcement. This particular piece of legislation not only protects the Second Amendment, it actually creates a safer environment in our state.”

The Constitutional Carry bill “creates an exception to the offense of unlawful carrying of a firearm, if a person meets the qualifications for an enhanced handgun carry permit, lawfully possesses a handgun, and is in a place that the person has a right to be; and revises other firearm statuses.”

Lee has said that House Bill 786 would “make Tennessee safer.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the sheriff’s association have been opposing the bill since it was first presented.

“The bureau has been consistent [in opposition] on this from a public safety standpoint,” a spokesperson for the TBI said.

Governor Lee’s press secretary, Casey Black, said, “The Constitutional Carry legislation is a key priority in the governor’s public safety package, which is focused on protecting law-abiding Tennesseans’ Second Amendment rights, while also significantly increasing penalties for criminals who steal firearms.”

Anyone convicted of firearm theft would have to spend at the minimum of one year in jail before being eligible for parole.

Constitutional Carry will only apply to handguns, which is something that both the National Association for Gun Rights and the Tennessee Firearms Association have opposed. Both associations have pushed for wider proposals, such as allowing open carry with all types of firearms or allowing those 18 and up to openly carry.

Constitutional Carry only applies to state residents 21 and older, unless they are a member of the armed forces.

Law enforcement across the state has expressed concern that House Bill 786 could put them in a vulnerable position. If passed, there would be a 20% drop in permit applications and renewals for handguns, which budget officials worry could cost the state money. Budget officials say it could be roughly a $20 million loss.

During the video call, Lee said, “It is very simple what the founders had in mind, and it was to allow the citizenry to be protected against a tyrannical government. What’s most important here is we allow the rights of law-abiding citizens to be protected.”

Lee also asked for those on the call to be open to discussions with those opposed to the bill. He asked for help with “making them understand, none of us want gun violence.”

“In fact, we’re working really hard in our state and in the legislature to bring forth laws that increase penalties for violent offenders. We don’t want gun violence,” Lee added.

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8 thoughts on “Governor Lee Wants Constitutional Carry Bill For Safer Tennessee

  • March 24, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Budget officials are worried about a revenue loss? Charging money for a permit to carry a weapon is what is wrong! How about you refund all the money you have taken from the citizens to pay for the right that is freely given to us by our Constitution! With the Biden administration about to go crazy in their coming assaults on our rights, it it certainly time for our state to send a message that we respect the 2nd amendment here in Tennessee

  • March 24, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    The governor is correct on this, and while I have reservations on the 18-21 year old and long arm ommissions, this will in fact make Tennesseans safer. The TBI and Sheriff Association obviously would not support it, likely because they think they’ll be out ‘tics’ and permit fees, etc. But, in fact the Governor is also correct about most Tennesseans who will want to ‘carry’ as a result of less restrictions and will want to carry in other states that reciprocate with TN law and they’ll generate even more permit fees. As usual, the typical suspects oppose this legislation for selfish reasons.

  • March 24, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Please take the necessary steps for Tennessee to permit citizens to legal carry. I hope this goes through before Biden tries to take our guns away. I don’t know how people in Tennessee feel about giving up their guns but as for me I plan to hold on to mine. I have had a permit since 2008. I enjoy going to a rifle range and taking a variety of guns and see how bad I am at hitting a target.

    • March 25, 2021 at 3:57 pm

      I will never obtain a permit to exercise my second amendment right. Period.

  • March 24, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    We Definitely need the constitutional carry in Tennessee. I’m a life long Tennessean. And respectfully ask for the support to pass this bill. I believe Tennessee and the public will be much safer. The shootings of late might not have been so tragic if people who had guns were carrying. Guns really don’t kill but we’ll always have bad eggs.

  • March 24, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    I want every Law Abiding Tennessean and American to have and Carry a Weapon. I want every Weapon Carrier to have Safety Training and testing mechanism that shows they knows how to safely handle and discharge a handgun–is that too much to ask?? Revenue be damned–it’s life and gun safety I care about. I think every Sheriff in every County should provide Citizen Deputy classes to Deputize the whole County if they can–do background checks, First Aid Training, situational training, traffic sequencing, process assistance–assign them to schools on game night, concerts, County Fair, Malls etc., to assist our overburdened Police/Deputy Forces. Pay them a Dollar a year with any Billable Hours being paid to the PBF or something–(I don’t want to take funds from the Certified Force). The mundane stuff can be handled quit well by the Concerned Citizens in the County. There will be a time, if things don’t change, when the Citizens will be needed–and the Trained Citizen Deputy would be the second wave. We love our Men in Blue we love our Country, State and Neighborhoods. Let us help.

  • March 24, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    This proposal just is not endowed with common sense. There should be no problem with appropriate regulations to promote gun safety by those who purchase a weapon. Just as I care that other cars on the road have basic driver training, a gun owner should have basic training for use of a weapon, as well as screening for those who are not fit to own a weapon.

  • March 24, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    As a permit holder, this flies in the face of sensible gun laws. Police will be in danger because the constitutional carry guy will want to jump in a situation to “help” and by doing so will impede the
    TRAINED officer. Bad idea all the way around.


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