By: Teresa Mull
As many Republicans and the NRA are applauding Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee for signing Senate Bill 765/House Bill 786 into law, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) has labeled the so-called “Constitutional Carry” law as “Confused Carry” and likened it to “table scraps” for gun owners.
“True Constitutional Carry would restore the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm openly or concealed without a government permit,” D.J. Parten, Executive Director of Florida Gun Rights and the Senior Regional Director for the National Association for Gun Rights, wrote in an article for GPM last month.
SB 765 and its partner House legislation, HB 786, however, are riddled with anti-gun provisions. According to NAGR, this new provision, which became law with Republican supermajorities in both the House and the Senate:
*** WILL NOT apply to the carrying of all firearms, leaving gun owners in the position of having to guess if their firearm is carry-compliant,
*** WILL NOT apply to college-aged women or young single mothers who wish to carry for self-defense,
*** WILL NOT apply to all military-aged young adults,
*** Codifies a new Feinstein-backed gun control.
Republicans rejected a true Constitutional Carry bill put forward by Rep. Bruce Griffey, who was punished by House Speaker Cameron Sexton, who stripped Griffey of his committee assignments.
NAGR President Dudley Brown said previously that the Tennessee legislature was wasting its super majorities.
“The inability to deliver a clean Constitutional Carry bill is failed leadership,” Brown said.
Other gun rights groups, including Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) and Tennessee Carry, also oppose the law.
TFA reported before the bill became law, that:
The Governor’s bill is full of restrictions. There are restrictions on the age of the individuals who would be “allowed” to carry that excludes some citizens who can legally own firearms including those who are subject to either the militia call or the draft. There are prohibitions on some classes of people who can legally purchase, own or possess firearms. There are restrictions on the kinds of arms that people are “allowed” to carry. There are restrictions on the places where someone is “allowed” to carry.
Does the bill allow some people to carry without a permit? Yes. It also puts them at risk for doing so unless they are in places where they are “lawfully present” which may mean that if they carry under this new law in a public park or greenway and are armed that they could be charged with at least two separate criminal acts and have their weapon forfeited.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.