NASHVILLE, March 9, 2015– Several gun related bills will be moving through committee this week. Of note are two particular bills. One is HB 684/SB 784, the “Open Carry Firearms Freedom Act of 2015” by Rep. VanHuss and Sen. Beavers. The premise of the bill is to allow open carrying of a firearm to those lawfully able to possess a firearm.
Did you know that six states surrounding Tennessee allow for open carry without a permit?
These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. The Universities of Memphis, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, MTSU, among others send their athletic teams to these states for sporting events such as Vanderbilt vs Kentucky basketball and UT vs Alabama football. Literally, thousands of fans from Tennessee travel to these states to watch these events and yet, we have not heard one concern from legislators about Tennesseans or student athletes entering an open carry state.
Also, HB 535/SB780 by Rep. Womick and Sen. Beavers is a constitutional carry bill. It would allow anyone that is legally able to possess a firearm to carry the firearm either openly or concealed as a constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Several states are already “constitutional carry”, and more are becoming so. Did you know that Arkansas became a constitutional carry state in 2013 when Act 746 was signed into law? Both Vanderbilt and the University of Tennessee have traveled to Arkansas for basketball games and again, not one peep of concern from any Tennesseans including the Presidents of the Universities, or any of our elected officials.
It seems quite clear that open carry or constitutional carry is not a big enough of a concern for any legislator to voice opposition to sending athletic teams to sporting events in states that have enacted Second Amendment supportive legislation. I would expect those same elected officials to not voice their concern when these bills go in front of the legislature. I will be one of the legislators voicing support for our Second Amendment rights.
Please, contact me at Rep.Bryan.Terry@capitol.tn.gov and I can get you more information or get you in contact with your State Senator or Representative to support pro Second Amendment legislation.