Representative Bryan Terry, MD(R- Murfreesboro) is pursuing first-of-its-kind Second Amendment protection legislation entitled the Firearm Information Privacy Protection Act (FIPPA). The legislation(HB 1171/SB 1142) is aimed at protecting the anonymity of citizens related to firearm ownership.
HB 1171 will enhance PC 380 by creating a Class A Misdemeanor for any public personnel that intentionally discloses information about a purchaser or owner of a firearm, firearm ammunition, or firearm accessory for the purpose of compiling or facilitating the compilation of a federal firearms registry or confiscation of firearms. The bill will, also, create a cause of action for a gun owner to pursue civil action against any individual that releases information about gun ownership in order to facilitate any federal government effort to confiscate or register firearms.
Whereas the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the private health information of individuals, FIPPA aims to offer similar protections for individuals exercising their constitutional rights as they relate to firearms, ammunition, and accessories. “The privacy standards that I am held to as a physician must be replicated in regards to firearms, in order to defend the liberty of every Tennessean,” explained Terry, a Murfreesboro physician.
In 2015, Rep. Terry co-sponsored Public Chapter 380 which prohibited the use of any state funds, property, or personnel to enforce any federal gun legislation that limited the 2nd amendment rights of Tennesseans by violating a Tennessee statute, Tennessee common law, or the Constitution of Tennessee.
Terry further explained the legislation, saying that “one’s health information is private and protected by law. As firearms are necessary for the protection of one’s life, liberty, and family, firearm information should be private and protected, as well. My bill ensures this information remains protected to the greatest extent possible. FIPPA allows us to safeguard the constitutional rights and liberties of the people of our great state in this uncertain time.”
While there isn’t a federal law for firearm registration or confiscation at this time, there is a bill that has been introduced in Congress entitled the Firearm Registration and Licensing Act. That bill requires firearm owners to register their firearms within three months and notify the federal government on how they acquired the firearm and where they store it.
“Though it currently isn’t federal law to register or confiscate firearms, there certainly is discussion on this unconstitutional infringement on our rights. While we cannot predict precisely what overreaching policies the Biden administration may take, Tennessee must stand prepared to face these challenges as they come,” concluded Terry.
The Firearm Information Privacy Protection Act has passed through two House committees and is scheduled to he heard in the Senate. The bill has over 50 House co-sponsors including Speaker Cameron Sexton and Majority Leader William Lamberth.