Bill legalizing ‘open carry’ of pistols back for another try in 2017

State Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Gray, has introduced legislation that would make Tennessee the 30th state to allow citizens to carry a handgun in an open manner without the requirement of a carry permit, reports the Johnson City Press. Under the bill, carrying a concealed pistol would still require a permit.

Van Huss’s Open Carry Firearms Freedom Act was introduced and rejected during previous legislative sessions, but he is trying again — so far without Senate sponsorship. (Update note: Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, subsequently signed on as Senate sponsor.)

The bill, HB 0040, applies to handguns and not other firearms, such as shotguns. It also still requires those interested in carrying a concealed handgun to obtain a permit.

Van Huss, whose district includes roughly half of Washington County and Johnson City, wants to delete language from current law that indicates handgun carry permits issued by the state require they be concealed. The bill inserts language indicating “it being the intent of the General Assembly that the handgun carry permit be and remain silent as to how the individual wears, carries, or transports any handgun or firearm.”

…(In the bill’s preamble, Van Huss) continues to base his latest request on the 2nd Amendment. He also cites a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943), that “No state shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and attach a fee to it.”

The bill also names 29 states that currently allow a person “to carry a handgun in an unconcealed or open manner without being required to have a handgun carry permit.”

One Response to Bill legalizing ‘open carry’ of pistols back for another try in 2017

  • Randy Jerald Ray says:

    The people of Tennessee have desired their right to open carry without a permit for a long time. Most of the states that border Tennessee have had this right for many years. This bill (HB0040) has now been introduced for the third time. It’s hard to believe we are having such a hard time getting this bill passed with a Republican majority. Seems many of our Republican legislators are nothing more than democrats in Republican clothing. Do your jobs and give the law abiding people of Tennessee what they want and deserve. I’m quite sure that our Governor doesn’t like the idea of open carry without a permit and has probably “influenced” previous voting of the Finance Committee. The rights of Tennesseeans must be restored!

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