Former TN cop's bias on permitless carry, gun control hard to miss

Glock Model 21" by Michael @ NW Lens is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED.

Ever since the shooting at a private school in Nashville, anti-gun forces have tried to ramp up their efforts throughout the state.

Gov. Bill Lee is willing to budge a little on gun control and is in fact proposing his own red flag law.

But that’s not enough for gun control advocates. For them, every pro-gun measure is a failure, and they’ll enlist anyone they can to try and roll them back, including permitless carry.

Today, we have a former highly-ranked member of the Tennessee state trooper, the man who was once in charge of the permitting process, and he’s quite sure his job was absolutely essential.

I had the privilege to serve as major and then lieutenant colonel with the Tennessee Highway Patrol during Gov. Haslam’s administration and worked with many great leaders. To the current leaders at both the federal and state level who say nothing can be done to prevent mass shootings, you are a disgrace and failure to the citizens of this state. It is time for you to come together to find a solution that will end this ever-occurring violence that Americans have unfortunately come to expect.

The problem is, nothing can be done to completely prevent mass shootings. There have been massacres for as long as there have been people. You’re not suddenly going to change tens of thousands of years of reality by passing a couple of laws.

It’s simply not going to happen.

Yet most agree that we can do things to try and minimize them. Where we run into a problem is that people like the author here think we do that by restricting our gun rights while many of us argue the opposite is a much better solution.

Moving on…

As a former law enforcement administrator, we faced many challenges and came up with tough solutions. One of the divisions under my purview was the Handgun Permit Unit and the members in this unit worked tirelessly to ensure the permit process (at the time) was thorough, quick, and meaningful.

Great. But the people who actually make the rules figured that still an infringement on the rights of the people of Tennessee, mostly because it is, and repealed the process. Hence Tennessee being a permitless carry state.

Legislators should quickly enact a strict permitting process to carry and purchase firearms. Many former members of TDOSHS, including myself, provided training to citizens through classes like “Response to Violent Intruder Events” to help minimize the deaths and injuries when violence occurs. Training like this should be implemented for all citizens. There are many things like red flag laws and work to treat mental health issues that our state and federal officials should address to help reduce these tragedies.

For the purchase of firearms too? It’s not just permitless carry now?


See how the goalpost has shifted? He actually started by talking about the mass shooting in Tennessee, but how would a permit-to-purchase law have stopped that shooting? The killer had nothing in their public history that would have prohibited them from buying a firearm, much less getting a permit to buy one.

But permit-to-purchase requirements are kind of telling because most people don’t actually support those. The only folks who do are the more rabid gun control activists. We know where the author stands.

While serving in the command staff with THP, I knew of no one in the Patrol that wished to do away with the rights of citizens to carry firearms. We simply wanted those carrying to do so safely and correctly with a permitting process like those who are allowed to drive on our roadways.

Except driving is a privilege, not a right, and there is still that whole “right to keep and bear arms” thing.

But hey, who cares about rights?

Gov. Bill Lee and various other elected officials wish to allow citizens easier access to firearms with little restrictions on carrying and they are simply wrong in their reasoning, which portends to be at the direction of the NRA and gun manufacturers.

Research has shown that restrictions on firearm purchases and a stringent permitting process helps to minimize firearms from reaching the hands of those who should not be carrying firearms. I would ask our legislators, did a stringent permitting process ever cause a death? No. Did a permitting process ever prevent a death? Highly probable based on common sense reasoning. Did a background check ever prevent a dangerous felon from obtaining a firearm or permit? Yes.

Wait, a permit requirement never caused a death?


That’s a bold pronouncement and one that I find very hard to believe. In the entire history of carry permits, no one was ever killed while waiting for their permit? That strains belief well beyond its breaking point.

Further, let’s not pretend those who are inclined to break murder laws are going to be restrained by carry permit requirements. They’re simply not. Again, claiming otherwise strains belief beyond its standard tensile strength.

Yet permitless carry likely has allowed some to buy a gun immediately, then start carrying it immediately, thus saving their life. It may not show up on statistics simply because they didn’t need to pull the trigger. Somehow, this guy never even considers this one.

Through all of this, the author relies on his authority as the guy in charge of issuing permits, but he actually provides little in the way of hard evidence that not only should Tennessee end permitless carry, but also become one of the most anti-gun states in the nation with a permit-to-purchase requirement–something I don’t think Tennessee has ever had.

Honestly, if this is the A-game of the Tennessee gun grabber, there isn’t much to worry about.