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Tennessee Gun Laws Provide Interesting Case Nationally

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USA Map with Flag and Tennessee Seal. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 09:43 AM

Tennessee’s location in the southeastern part of the country with rural areas and the Appalachian Mountains make it an enjoyable place for gun owners. Tennessee gun laws are enacted for activities such as hunting with sporting rifles as well as for concerns about safety among its citizens.

State legislators continue to wrestle with issues to make the laws lenient for gun rights advocates, but also respect the wishes of people who favor some controls. They have loosened laws on carrying loaded weapons in some situations while resisting attempts to make it easier to open carry firearms.

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A 2014 law passed for hunters and for protection of residents allows people to keep loaded guns in their vehicles even if they don’t have carry permits. This includes loaded handguns, shotguns, or rifles that people legally own. Gun owners with carry permits can carry guns outside of their vehicles and inside their businesses for protection.

The law makes it easier for hunters when transporting their firearms, but also for the residents of Tennessee who have become concerned about protecting themselves. State Sen. Mike Bell, a Republican sponsor of the law, said it’s an extension of protecting one’s home but in the car. The National Rifle Association supported the bill because it includes property rights for people in their vehicles.

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Tennessee gun laws compete with other states in the same area of the country that is often friendly to gun owners. Gun laws in Kentucky and Georgia are more lenient and include carrying guns openly in many places in the state, including public parks and office buildings. However, Tennessee lawmakers also take into consideration gun-control advocates.

A committee in the state House defeated a measure to allow people to openly carry guns in public even if they didn’t have carry permits. The proposed law showed how gun issues might become divisive in the state. The state Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill, 25-2. However, there were concerns about an increase in armed robberies and stress on law enforcement that were voiced by law officials and the public.

State Rep. David Alexander said Tennessee gun laws use common sense to “strike that balance that we strive to in maintaining the individual rights and the safety of the citizens.” The House Finance Subcommittee voted down the bill, 10-1, and the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Micah Van Huss, decided not to pursue a vote on the House floor.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Tennessee’s location in the southeastern part of the country with rural areas and the Appalachian Mountains make it an enjoyable place for gun owners. Tennessee gun laws are enacted for activities such as hunting with sporting rifles as well as for concerns about safety among its citizens.
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2014-43-07
Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 09:43 AM
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