Initial Review Of 2nd Amendment Bills Filed In 2022 Legislative Session

Photo Credit: Public Domain & Thomas R Machnitzki /CC

By John Harris [Tennessee Firearms Association] –

Tennessee Firearms Association has initially marked 45 bills which have been filed in the Tennessee Legislature since it adjourned in 2021 that fall within the scope of issues that TFA monitors. 

Some of the bills are consistent with the 2nd Amendment’s mandate that the individual right to arms “shall not be infringed”, some are neutral on the issue and quite a few simply ignore the clear constitutional mandate.

TFA is including on its website report a PDF report that contains a complete list of the bills which have been identified for tracking so far. 

However, it is important to understand that this list might and likely will change. Why? Well, as we have known for many years some legislators will file what are referred to as “caption bills”. A caption bill is one that has a caption stating that it addresses a certain topic or that seeks to alter or amend a part of existing law, but the body of the bill is just a placeholder that might say for example it is changing a due date for a required official report to be filed. 

For a caption bill it is normally the case that the legislators’ true intent is to completely delete and rewrite the original language of the bill to do something entirely different once the bill starts being moved through the Legislature. 

Part of the great risk with caption bills is that these amendments are far harder to detect and track because the legislators are not required to publicly place these amendments on the state website before they are offered in committee and sometimes they are not available on the state’s website even after a subcommittee adopts them or even a committee adopts them. 

This “slight of hand” also often makes it difficult for individuals and groups like TFA to see the actual, intended bill language before it is voted on in the first committees to take up the matter.

The following is a brief review of some of the more important or interesting bills although not all of the bills which are on the attached list are addressed here at this time.


SB1816/HB1951 filed by Sen. Campbell and Rep. Freeman addresses the situation where someone convicted of domestic assault is required to remove from his or her possession their firearms, which is already in current law. What this bill seeks to do is to require the person who receives or purchases the firearms to sign an affidavit that they have done so and that he/she “accepts responsibility for possession of the firearm.” This affidavit is filed with the court. Thus, the bill would create a public registry of firearms transfers and owners at least with respect to specific firearms. Further, it is not clear what is meant by the requirement that the transferee agrees to be responsible for the firearm. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB1896/HB2004 filed by Sen. Campbell and Rep. Clemmons would make it a crime for a person to “knowingly give, loan, or transfer a firearm to another that the person knows or reasonably should know is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm.” The legislation seeks to create a new criminal penalty applicable to the “casual sale” of firearms between individuals. The effect of this legislation is chilling and could require people to start using federal firearms dealers to handle lawful casual sales in order to prophylactically create a paper trail and defense should some rogue district attorney decide to prosecute people on the “should have known” provision of this legislation. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB1970/HB2724 filed by Sen. Kyle and Rep. Miller would repeal existing law which allows a person to store a firearm in a locked vehicle. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB1972/HB2059 filed by Sen. Kyle and Rep. Sparks would extend the sales tax holiday on gun safes for one additional year. TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

SB2024/HB2859 filed by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Kumar would allow a person to voluntarily place themselves on a “no buy” list that would prohibit federal firearms dealers from selling that individual a gun. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB2149/HB2850 filed by Sen. Massey and Rep. Kumar would require taxpayers to fund the cost of providing a firearms training voucher for those who purchase a firearm. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB2170/HB2087 filed by Sen. Akbari and Rep. White would make it a crime to leave a firearm unattended in a vehicle or boat (houseboat?) unless it is safely locked away and out of view. It also requires those who have had a firearm stolen or lost to report the matter within 24 hours of discovery. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB2211/HB2620 filed by Sen. Campbell and Rep. Harris would create a new crime for a person to leave a firearm “in a manner that the person knows or reasonably should know will allow a child under eighteen (18) years of age to access the firearm and the child brings the firearm to a school…” A “school” is defined to include not only schools (as defined by most people) but also any property owned or managed by a third party – including public parks – if a school is using the property for any school purposes. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB2291/HB1735 filed by Sen. Bell and Rep. Todd would allow all those 18 and up to apply for the enhanced handgun permit. However, the proposed bill includes language which seeks to impose criminal prohibitions concerning the places where 18-20 year olds who have an enhanced permit but do who do not military service can possess a handgun which prohibitions do not apply to 18-20 year olds who have military service. While TFA SUPPORTS allowing those 18 and up to carry handguns if they can lawfully own or possess them but TFA opposes the provision in this bill that creates an equal protection concern.

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SB2521/HB2521 filed by Sen. Hensley and Rep. Jerry Sexton would revise existing law on posting private property as a gun free zone. The change would require that the property owner or manager give notice of the prohibition to someone who may be in possession of a firearm and that person would have an opportunity to remove the firearm from the gun-free zone. Criminal charges would only be available if the person refused to comply with the request to remove the weapon from the property. TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

SB2638/HB232 filed by Sen. Niceley and Rep. Grills would modify the definition of use of force. TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

SB2698/HB2770 filed by Sen. Bowling and Rep. Todd would impose a custodial duty to provide protection for citizens when a business or location is posted as a gun free zone. TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

SB2715/HB2807 filed by Sen. Kyle and Rep. Hardaway would impose criminal liability for storing a firearm on a vehicle or boat where a person is not present unless the item is in a locked container affixed to the vehicle. TFA OPPOSES this legislation.

SB2799/HB1738 filed by Sen. Roberts and Rep. Sparks extends the sales tax holiday on gun safes and devices to June 30, 2023. TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

SB2803/HB1898 filed by Sen. Roberts and Rep. Grills would convert the existing handgun permits to “firearms” permits. Tennessee law presently does not allow someone to carry a longarm in public (e.g., someone who shoots sporting clays after work presently cannot legally carry a longarm from a parking garage to their own office). TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

SB2823/HB2777 filed by Sen. Roberts and Rep. Todd would establish revised criminal procedures in self-defense cases which would establish a procedure for a court to consider the issue of self-defense before the case is presented to a jury. TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

SB2866/HB2524 filed by Sen. Bailey and Rep. Jerry Sexton would delete the provision of current law which makes it a crime for a citizen who can legally possess a firearm to carry that firearm. This small change removes the existing statutory scheme that makes it a crime for any citizen to carry a firearm in public which crime is subject to various defenses or exceptions such as having a handgun permit. This legislation would move Tennessee much closer to true constitutional carry. TFA SUPPORTS this legislation.

About the Author: John Harris is the Executive Director of The Tennessee Firearms Association. You can contact TFA here. You can join TFA here.

One thought on “Initial Review Of 2nd Amendment Bills Filed In 2022 Legislative Session

  • February 7, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    I agree that education funds should be denied for Illegal immigrants. Following the Pandemic so many of our children need catch up classes and “special needs” children, focused attention. We need transparency from our Federal Government and relocation to states that agree with Illegal immigration.


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