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Tennessee Gun Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

Image: Tennessee Gun Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate
The Tennessee State Capitol. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 09:36 AM

On July 1, a new Tennessee law went into effect that allows anyone to keep a loaded gun in their car, thus overriding a previous restriction that required a state-issued permit.

According to the law, non-permit holders can legally possess a loaded firearm in a vehicle they possess, as long as they're not prohibited from having or receiving a weapon by federal law or from buying one under state law.

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Before this law, anyone without a permit could keep unloaded firearms in their vehicle and store the ammunition separately. Those without permits also cannot carry loaded weapons on streets or in businesses.

As expected, those on both sides had plenty to say on the hotly contested issue.

"It's essentially an extension of the 'castle doctrine,' that you can defend your 'castle,' ... your home, if you feel threatened." – Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, the sponsor of the bill.

"This is not 1875. It just seems to me this is going to escalate all the crime to a higher level. If the word got out or if people knew they could come to Tennessee and carry a weapon, I'm sure that armed robberies are going to increase. Apparently they're wanting everyone in the state of Tennessee to carry a firearm. I'm against that. I think it's ridiculous."
– Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray, according to WBIR.com

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"This law will make it easier for people who are up to nefarious purposes to carry a gun, to go commit violence. That's not a news blast to anybody. If people are allowed to carry guns, they will carry them both for good and for ill."
– Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher

"You can have a real problem if you have a loaded weapon in a car." I'm not sure why the distinction we've got in the law isn't a good one, where you force someone to deliberately acquire and earn the status necessary to carry a loaded gun as opposed to just allowing everybody to carry a gun."
– Rep. Mike Stewart (D)

"Thugs will have a gun regardless. We have a constitutional right to have a gun. So if you're good enough to buy one, that means you've had to have a background check. You ought to be good enough to at least get it in your car."
– House sponsor Jeremy Faison (R), countering Stewart's argument

Sen. Mae Beavers (R), who sponsored the bill in the Senate, sparked an April 8 debate on her Facebook page.
Constable Tom Dallas wrote: "Constitutional carry should be law of the land....background checks are nothing more than feel good legislation....the "bad guys" ain't gonna follow the rules anyway....Open carry makes sense......MORE people would be armed and prepared to defend themselves against the shits who are not going to follow ANY rules anyway."
Dennis Vick wrote: "Well, we need a license for just about everything that we want to do, but I guess now that it is ok to openly carry and display a weapon without any type of license or pre-qualification or training to carry that weapon. I would think that the opportunity for violence has just increased by about 1000% with the passage of this law. Gun nuts: When you get your head blown off, try to remember that you were 'just trying to exercise' your 2nd Amendment Right to bear arms. Strange that every industrialized/civilized country in the world has strict gun laws prohibiting possession/display, but we decide 'we are different.'"
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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On July 1, a new Tennessee law went into effect that allows anyone to keep a loaded gun in their car, thus overriding a previous restriction that required a state-issued permit. As expected, those on both sides had plenty to say on the hotly contested issue.
tennessee, gun, laws, heated, debate
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2014-36-07
Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 09:36 AM
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