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Legislation Moves to Strengthen 2nd Amendment Protections

This information is from 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, who represents Giles, Lewis, Marshall and Maury counties.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to strengthen 2nd Amendment rights of Tennesseans and approved Senate Bill 1503 to lower the age to legally carry a handgun without a permit from age 21 to 18.

The measure also lowers the age from 21 to 18 to obtain an enhanced or lifetime enhanced handgun carry permit.

It is part of an effort to ensure Tennessee’s gun laws are consistent with the recent United States Supreme Court Case, New York State Rifle v. Bruen (2022).

The bill now advances to the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee.

Protecting firearm and ammunition manufacturers – The Judiciary Committee advanced legislation to provide civil liability protection to prevent firearm and ammunition manufacturers from being held responsible for illegal acts carried out by criminals using their products.

In 2005, the Federal Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act was passed with the intent to protect firearms and ammunition manufacturers from frivolous claims.

"However, these types of lawsuits have been allowed in state courts, and Senate Bill 822 which I sponsored, ensures those lawsuits never happen in Tennessee," Hensley said. "However, the bill does maintain citizens’ ability to file legitimate claims against bad actors. "

According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee is no. 1 in the nation for employment in the firearms industry with nearly 8,000 jobs and a $1.1 billion impact to the state’s economy.

This legislation will help protect the 20 firearm and ammunition manufacturers in the state and the Tennesseans they employ.

Having the right to bear arms is meaningless if no one is willing to make those arms.

"This bill will help secure our rights by protecting gun manufacturers from civil liability in Tennessee," Hensley said.

Keeping inappropriate material out of public schools – To prevent inappropriate or obscene materials from entering a K-12 public school, the Judiciary Committee passed legislation to create a Class E felony offense for book publishers, distributors, or sellers that knowingly sell or distribute obscene material to a public school.

Last year, the General Assembly passed several bills aimed at removing and blocking obscene or inappropriate materials on school computers and in school classrooms and libraries. Senate Bill 1059 which I sponsored, builds on those efforts.

Expanding paid leave for teachers who have been victimized on the job — A bill that expands paid leave for teachers who were assaulted on the job from three months to up to a year passed the Education Committee.

Senate Bill 906 would pay teachers who are unable to return to the classroom due to injury full salary and full benefits.

Restitution for injury or damage by dog – Legislation passed the Senate to require the owner of a dog that has attacked a person or damaged another’s property to pay restitution for all damages.

Currently, judges can only fine a dog owner. Under Senate Bill 1320, dog owners would be required to pay restitution if their dog killed another’s chicken, damaged landscaping, or injured a person, to name a few examples.

Protecting parental rights regarding vaccines – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to prohibit a healthcare provider from giving vaccinations to minors without parental consent.

Senate Bill 1111, is the Mature Minor Doctrine Clarification Act. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health issued a memo to healthcare providers that cited the Mature Minor Doctrine for authority to provide COVID-19 vaccines to minors without parental consent.

After lawmakers raised concerns with the newly authorized shots given to children without parents’ knowledge or consent, the department reversed course.

This legislation clarifies that the Mature Minor Doctrine does not allow vaccinations to be given to minors without parental consent.

Hensley may be contacted at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, TN ., 37243 or called 615-741-3100, or call toll free at 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100, or fax at 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald, TN., 38462, by telephone at 931-796-2018, by cell phone at 931-212-8823, or e-mail: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov


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