Photo Credit: Public Domain
Published May 7, 2021
By John Harris [Tennessee Firearms Association] –
The Tennessee Legislature adjourned on May 5, 2021.
Was it a major victory for Tennesseans in terms of 2nd Amendment legislation? No.
Was any progress made? Absolutely.
The purpose of this initial report is to identify the bills that have passed both the House and the Senate as of May 5.
These bills are still subject to veto, although, with Bill Lee that appears unlikely.
The Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) will do a detailed report once the final language of the enacted legislation is pulled together and published by the Legislature.
TFA tracked 53 bills during this session. Of that, 19 were enacted.
Of the 19 that were enacted, the reform to civil immunity in Tennessee for those who use justifiable force in self-defense is probably the most significant.
There are others bills which were amended late in the session that appear to be good for 2nd Amendment supporters such as a one-year long sales tax holiday on sales of safes and two bills which appear to prohibit public official disclosures of firearms owner identifying information.
Then there are others bills which passed which could and should have done much more, even according to the bill’s sponsors.
Some will argue they are at least an incremental step in the right direction.
For example – Governor Bill Lee’s qualified exception to a criminal charge of carrying with intent to go armed (a form of permitless carry but far from constitutional carry) or two bills that propose to enact “sanctuary state” provisions.
The report below lists all of the bills that we believe have passed both houses.
Again, because several of the bills are laden with amendments that completely or substantially rewrite the original bill, you should use caution in reviewing and evaluating the bills until the actual final formats are established and the final “public chapters” are released.