Tennessee Passes Constitutional Carry

Tennessee Passes Constitutional Carry
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

In a lot of ways, permitless carry–also known as constitutional carry–is kind of the Holy Grail for gun rights. I may be the only person who sees it that way, but I’m of the belief that if a state will pass constitutional carry, then they’re highly unlikely to pass much of anything else in the way of gun control and likely have expanded gun rights a great deal in recent years.

Let’s face it, California isn’t passing constitutional carry anytime soon.

Tennessee, on the other hand, just did.

The Tennessee General Assembly has approved Gov. Bill Lee’s legislation to allow most adults to carry handguns without obtaining a permit, a measure some Republicans sought for years to pass.

The permitless carry bill, which supporters have dubbed “constitutional carry,” passed the House of Representatives 64-29 on Monday night. Just five House Republicans voted against it. The bill was approved in the Senate on March 18 and can now be signed into law by the governor.

The law, which will take effect July 1, allows for both open and concealed carrying of handguns for people 21 and older without a permit as well as for military members ages 18 to 20. It does not apply to long guns, a point of contention among gun rights activists.

“This bill is not the end of the journey,” House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, said from the floor Monday evening, confirming an appetite remains in the GOP-controlled legislature to remove more gun restrictions in the future. “This is a massive step forward for freedom.”

That it is.

Now, yes, I get why people want to open carry long guns and I believe the law should allow it. Yet let’s also recognize that on a day-to-day basis, people aren’t milling about with long guns on their person. That’s generally reserved for people looking to get attention for whatever reason.

Not that that’s automatically a bad thing, mind you, but it’s hardly sufficient recent to take issue with a bill that will allow every law-abiding Tennesseean of legal age to just up and decide to carry a gun one day. This is still a huge win, as Lamberth noted, for freedom.

Of course, it’s ridiculously unlikely that Lee won’t sign the bill. After all, he’s supported the legislation since before a bill was even introduced. It’s basically his bill, after all, so unless body snatchers are a thing and Lee is a victim, we’ll see this signed pretty soon, if it hasn’t been signed by the time you read this.

Yeah, I think it could go that quickly.

Let us not forget about the perpetually screeching gun-grabbers with this year’s variation of “the streets will run red with blood” at the mere thought of this. Nevermind how that has literally never happened and is never going to happen because law-abiding citizens aren’t looking to run around and shoot people for no reason.

On the contrary, people will be much safer now and Tennessee sure does look like very welcoming environments compared to a lot of places, now doesn’t it?


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