Tennessee Keeps 2nd Amendment Safe
This information comes from the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, MD, R-Hohenwald, who represents Giles, Lewis, Marshall, Maury and part of Williamson County in the State Legislature. From self-defense to recreational use, protecting the use of firearms in the 2nd Amendment is a Tennessee tradition. Since I’ve served in the General Assembly, we have passed many laws to solidify our commitment to the 2nd Amendment. This year, we passed legislation I sponsored to protect firearm and ammunition manufacturers.
This law provides civil liability protection to prevent holding firearm and ammunition manufacturers responsible for illegal acts by criminals using their products.
In 2005, the Federal Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act was passed to protect firearms and ammunition manufacturers from frivolous claims.
However, these types of lawsuits have been allowed in state courts, and this new law ensures those lawsuits never happen in Tennessee. The bill maintains citizens’ ability to file legitimate claims against bad actors.
According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee is #1 in the nation for firearms industry employment with nearly 8,000 jobs and a $1.1 billion impact to the state’s economy.
This law will help protect 20 firearm and ammunition manufacturers in the state and their employees. Another recently-passed law protects gun owners by preventing a state or local entity from creating a registry to record who possesses firearms in Tennessee.
It defines “registry” as a record of possession or ownership by non-governmental individuals or entities and provides that violation of this measure would result in a Class E felony and loss of state funding for the following fiscal year and any subsequent years of the violation. In 2021, the General Assembly passed a law that strengthens Second Amendment rights by making clear state and local officials must not enforce laws, treaties, executive orders, rules or regulations of the U.S. government that violate the U.S. and State Constitutions.
It affirms that they are null, void and unenforceable in Tennessee. The statute provides that any official in violation is subject to ouster, unless exempted by the State Constitution. The General Assembly also approved legislation during the 2021 legislative session allowing Tennesseans to exercise their constitutional right to carry firearms without a permit, while cracking down on criminals who steal or possess guns illegally.
The law allows law-abiding citizens in Tennessee who are at least age 21 or honorably discharged or active in the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves to carry a firearm without a permit where they are lawfully present. Those who carry without a permit must have no felony convictions, orders of protection in effect, pending charges or convictions for domestic violence, stalking, or have been adjudicated as mentally defective.
In addition, individuals convicted of two DUI offenses within the last 10 years or one in the last five years are not eligible, as well illegal aliens and fugitives from justice. The legislation also increases penalties for firearm-related crime to promote public safety. That includes increasing the penalty for theft of a firearm to a Class E felony, providing a sentencing enhancement for theft of a firearm in a car and increasing the sentences for unlawful possession of a firearm by violent felons, among others. "Tennessee is and will remain one of the most pro-gun states in the country. The Second Amendment is a cornerstone of our democracy, and ensures our citizens’ right to defend themselves, their families and their property,"according to Hensley.
"The General Assembly is steadfast in its commitment to preserving this constitutional right, and will continue to explore - in the upcoming legislative session and beyond - legislation that reflects this priority." Hensley may be contacted at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, TN., 37243 or at 615-741-3100, or toll free at 1-800-449-8366 extension 13100, or by faxing 615-253-0231.
His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald, TN, 38462, or he may be reached at 931-796-2018, at his cell phone at 931-212-8823, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org