Tennessee Considers Constitutional Amendment Impacting Gun 'Wearing'

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

It wasn't that long ago that the state of Tennessee passed constitutional carry. The pro-gun state became a little more pro-gun that day and now pretty much anyone who can lawfully own a firearm can lawfully carry one without permission.


Yet it seems that lawmakers there are cognizant of the fact that they might not always remain in power. While the General Assembly is pro-gun now there's no reason to believe it'll always be that way.

Frankly, I respect that kind of thinking. It's something a lot of anti-gunners fail to appreciate, much to my delight.

As a result of that thinking, they're talking about a new constitutional amendment that would strip the General Assembly of the authority to regulate the "wearing" of firearms.

Tennessee lawmakers are considering a proposal that could lead to an overhaul of the way the state's General Assembly considers gun restrictions. The proposal would modify the state constitution to say that citizens "have a right to keep, bear, and wear arms."


The proposed constitutional amendment would change that language, removing the provision that guns are for the common defense as well as language about the General Assembly's ability to regulate guns. It would also include language allowing people to explicitly "wear" arms.

The new language that would be in the Tennessee Constitution is below.

"That the citizens of this State have a right to keep, bear, and wear arms."

It would replace the existing language in Article 1, Section 26, of the state's constitution. The existing language in the constitution is available below.

"That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime."


The Senate version of the amendment passed on April 8th and the House will vote on their version, one recently amended to match the Senate's bill, on April 10th.

From there, it goes to a vote by the people of Tennessee.

My hope is that they support this measure because it's a nice change of pace to see a legislative body vote to give up any of its authority.

You see, Tennessee's constitution includes protection of the right to keep and bear arms, but it also allows the General Assembly to regulate such things so as to prevent crime. We all know that anti-gunners think you and I being able to carry a firearm somehow magically leads to crime, so we know where they'd land on the subject of constitutional carry even if they'd been quiet about it.

And they haven't been.

Now, I don't see Tennessee becoming anti-gun anytime soon. While there are some very loud voices there, the truth is that volume doesn't necessarily translate to influence. Let's remember that a special session called specifically for gun control failed to do anything except make some headlines.

But that's today. Tomorrow could be very different and I applaud lawmakers for recognizing that and trying to take appropriate action in order to protect the right to keep and bear arms.

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