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Gun bill advances
Rush Bricken.jpg
Rush Bricken

Get ready to go armed.

House Bill 786, commonly known as the Constitutional Carry Bill, is making its way through the Tennessee House and is scheduled for further consideration on Wednesday in the Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee.

“There have been three different constitutional carry bills introduced this session,” said state Rep. Rush Bricken, who represents Warren County in the 47th District. “I think one of them will get through and become legislation. I’m certainly for constitutional carry.”

Under current state law, concealed carry permit holders have the right to carry a handgun, except in restricted areas. House Bill 786 would extend the same constitutional right to carry a handgun, without a permit, to all law-abiding citizens 21 and older, or 18 and older for active members of the military.

“This would mean no law-abiding citizen would be penalized for carrying a gun,” said Bricken.

House Bill 786 would eliminate any type of government permission or a permit to go armed in Tennessee for citizens without a criminal record.

The bill also strengthens penalties for anyone who steals a firearm, felons in possession of a firearm, and dangerous stalkers. 

Supporters say the bill allows residents to capitalize on their Second Amendment rights to freely carry a firearm without any restrictions. Critics says it would allow people to go armed without getting something as simple as a permit, or completing a basic gun safety class. Critics also say more guns would invariably lead to more gun violence.