TN Bill To Lower Concealed Carry Age To 18 Clears House Committee

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The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –

A bill to lower the age to legally carry a concealed handgun in Tennessee from age 21 to age 18 passed the House Civil Justice Committee on Wednesday.

The committee vote came during the second round of discussion on House Bill 1735. It was approved, if amended, by a 9-6 vote and will move to the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee.

Its companion bill, Senate Bill 2291, has not been taken up by a Senate committee.

Sponsoring Rep. Chris Todd, R-Madison County, said the amendment would afford 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds all of the protections those age 21 and older have in the state in terms of carrying firearms.

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The amendment removes language in the bill related to bringing firearms into a parking lot of a school.

While students cannot bring guns into a school building, Elizabeth Insognia, of the Tennessee Office of Legal Services, previously said guns can be brought into a school parking lot by a permit holder or if the gun is unloaded and locked in the vehicle. By allowing 18-year-olds to get a permit, the amendment would allow them to bring a gun to the school parking lot, she said.


Tennessee 18-year-olds can possess firearms but they cannot carry a handgun unless they are honorably discharged or retired from the U.S. Armed Services or they are a member on active duty.

Elizabeth Stroecker, legislative director for the Department of Public Safety, said previously the department opposed the bill and it could cost Tennessee residents reciprocity with up to 21 other states.

The department will not know for sure how other states will react until a bill is passed and Tennessee does its annual survey with other states. If a state will not accept a permit from an 18- to 20-year-old, it generally will not accept reciprocity for anyone in the state, Stroecker said.

Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, clarified during discussion that the proposed Tennessee law is different than a law in Indiana because 18-year-olds in Indiana need a permit for concealed carry. Parkinson voted against the bill but the Marine Corps veteran previously said he could potentially get behind it if there were additional requirements, such as gun training, required for 18-year-olds.

About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.

3 thoughts on “TN Bill To Lower Concealed Carry Age To 18 Clears House Committee

  • March 17, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    I’ve seen too many shootings in Knoxville near schools and in communities. Concealed guns should remain the legal age of 21. Due to violence in cities, drug and gang activities puts schools, communities and Police at risk. This also increases the risk for 18-21yo not carrying concealed guns to being shot during Police confrontations.

    • March 18, 2022 at 3:44 am

      Agreed. This is absolutely foolish legislation. Too young for a beer but they trust with the means to kill other Americans?

      Eighteen year olds are too hot headed and morally undeveloped to carry such a responsibility.

  • March 18, 2022 at 4:15 am

    I don’t know the laws in TN but in most if not all states juvenile records are sealed. Someone who has a sealed juvenile record could therefore have a concealed weapon at age 18?


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