Senate approves bill to allow open carry without permits


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Where and how Tennesseans carry their guns may soon be changing. Tuesday, the state Senate approved a bill that would open up gun rights in the state.

The current law requires a permit to carry a gun either concealed or out in the open. This bill would allow any Tennessean legally allowed to own a gun - to carry one as long it can be seen by others.

“You're going out hunting, you're going hiking, you're going someplace maybe you feel it's your right to carry a firearm, which it is...you have that Second Amendment,” says Eric Matson with Tactical Advantage Corp.

Senate bill 2424 would remove the permit requirement and its training mandate for the open carry of a handgun in Tennessee.

To be considered open carry the gun would need to be in plain view of others, in a belt holster, on the streets and any place where guns aren't specifically banned. A permit and training requirements would only be in place for concealed carry.

Gun enthusiast, James Burns says, “I have a permit and when I carry one I still conceal it and the reason why I conceal it is because you get different reactions from different people."

State Senator Mae Beavers sponsors the bill. She says the legislation would bring Tennessee in line with a lot of other states.

“Requiring Tennesseans to pay for a permit to publicly carry a handgun in all forms including openly and while in a motor vehicle...current Tennessee law converts that right into a privilege.”

Some who agree with the right to bear arms, are still in favor of a permit.

“Everybody is going on the gun craze and there are a lot people that are purchasing and everything and they do not know what they're doing, they do not know how to handle a firearm,” says Burns.

The bill is awaiting review in subcommittee. State Senator Beavers expects the House to make a decision by the end of this week or the first of next week.


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