Debate over concealed carry permits continues in state legislature
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – New legislation could be passed for concealed carry gun owners in Tennessee to no longer be required to get a permit.
“It can be quite expensive for an individual, particularly in a time like this, when so many have reduced hours or were even laid off, to go get the permit,” said Tennessee Firearms Association President John Harris.
On top of the costs for a permit, Harris believes a permit isn’t necessary.
“You learn real quick that the permit doesn’t make us any safer as a state,” he said. “It doesn’t reduce crime, it doesn’t make those who decide to carry any more competent or careful when they do carry.”
Currently in the state of Tennessee, the law requires you to get a permit, which includes training, background checks and fingerprinting.
But Democratic Caucus Chair Vincent Dixie feels like carrying a weapon is a heavy responsibility that should continue to be cross checked.
“With the crime rate that we have going up, especially during this pandemic, this is not what we need — more guns on the street, and really, people with untrained abilities with guns on the street,” Dixie said.
Harris says most concealed carry gun owners already go through a thorough process before they even get a gun in their hands.
“Most of the people who acquire a firearm in the first place must go through a background check, because most people, not all but most, buy them from a licensed dealer and to do that they must go through a federally-required background check,” Harris said. “So to require them to go through another background check is pointless.”
“I think that it is very dangerous — it’s irresponsible,” he said. “I think as a legislative body, we would be at fault if we were to let this legislation pass. We would have blood on our hands.”