Tennessee Gov. Signs Shall-Certify, Guns in Parks, Lifetime Concealed Carry Bills

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been busy signing pro-gun bills into law. Among the bills the Republican governor signed recently include a “guns in parks” bill, a “shall-certify” bill, a privacy bill and a lifetime concealed carry bill.

Arguably the most controversial bill was the “guns in parks” bill, which allows law-abiding citizens with valid concealed carry permits the right to carry in public parks around the state.

“Overall I believe the legislation in its final form is a vast improvement from the bill as initially introduced,” Haslam wrote in a letter to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell explaining his decision, as the Tennessean reported.

“However, I am concerned that an unintended consequence may be operational challenges for local leaders in managing their parks in a safe, effective and consistent manner, due to events and situations that could not have been anticipated in drafting this law.”

It appears the governor wants to revisit the law at a later date to evaluate whether there are any issues with the guns in parks bill. The National Rifle Association backed the bill.

“Law-abiding Tennesseans have a fundamental right to protect themselves, whether in their homes or in parks,” said Chris Cox, the head of the NRA-ILA in a statement. “This will remove a patchwork of laws throughout the state that could have turned law-abiding citizens into unintentional criminals.”

The guns in parks bill was slammed by Everytown for Gun Safety and the Safe Tennessee Project.

“The reality that the legislature would not listen to the mayors, city councils, the Department of Education, school boards, police departments, sheriff’s departments, school administrators and citizens across the state that opposed this bill and instead pass a lobbyist-written law opposed by taxpayers is shameful,” said the Safe Tennessee Project in a statement.

For more on the other bills Gov. Haslam signed, here are the details courtesy of the NRA-ILA:

House Bill 745, sponsored by state Representative Holsclaw (R-4) and state Senator Niceley (R-8), creates a lifetime handgun carry permit. This law sets the application fee for a lifetime handgun carry permit at $500. This law will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

Senate Bill 633, sponsored by state Senator Bailey (R-15) and state Representative Van Huss (R-6), prohibits schools from requiring students or parents to provide information on firearm ownership, prohibits local education agencies from requiring employees to provide information on firearm ownership, and prohibits adverse disciplinary or employment action based on information of firearm ownership that is voluntarily provided. This law goes into effect immediately.

House Bill 1255, sponsored by state Representative Sargent (R-61) and state Senator Johnson (R-23), requires the chief law enforcement officer of a jurisdiction to certify the transfer or making of a firearm, as required by the National Firearms Act, within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm by law. This law also permits an applicant to appeal a denial to the circuit court. This law goes into effect immediately.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Russ May 14, 2015, 7:24 am

    Nobody Knows more about firearms & firearm safety in the world, than the NRA- ILA.——— NOBODY!
    I’m going to go with whatever they think is right, high price and all, it’s a step in the right direction.
    Politicians should shut the hell up, considering they are unqualified to make credible decisions concerning firearm laws.
    NRA- ILA should be put in charge of this for the entire USA.

  • Dan May 12, 2015, 12:51 pm

    It makes no sense to me to ban guns from parks, or buildings or any areas. Criminals carry firearms ILLEGALLY in these places with the intention of doing harm. Why should Law Abiding Citizens be banned from their Constitutionally guaranteed Right to possess firearms. They are not going to start shooting people, or kids. Kids are not in any more danger then they would be with out Law Abiding Citizens having firearms there. It’s ludicrous thinking that a firearm is going to make someone get injured or killed because it is in a holster. People are too scared of everything, especially guns. Mainly because the media and anti gun groups have pounded into the heads of uneducated people (people who know nothing about guns I’m talking about) that they are inherently dangerous and will cause trouble if they are even there. A firearm is just a tool. It does nothing on it’s own! Criminals with any weapons do the harm. They need to be controlled. A gun in the possession of a Law Abiding Citizen can save lives!

  • William Thornburg May 12, 2015, 12:24 pm

    As a resident and citizen of Virginia, I see this as a good move for residents of Tennessee even though an expensive one. Here in Virginia we must renew every five years and you can only guess the paper work/documentation required. Our carry permits must be renewed on time or it will require a long drawn out waiting period that can go into three months or more. Wish they could place those taxes where they should be… onto oil/gas sales. Citizens have the duty to defend themselves from criminals. In Virginia, we not only pay for room, board and medical for criminals in prisons, but give them travel money when they leave to plan their next harmful acts against law abiding citizens. Lately criminals have even been attacking the police authorities. Criminals make their stand upon the bad consequences they incur during times that they refuse arrests. Seems like we need to be concerned after the police arrive, too. More reasons to be able and defend ourselves. Gentleman is correct about high cost, but someone has to maintain records. You don’t think that they would utilize the extra funds to take care of criminals?

  • Ram6 May 11, 2015, 3:25 pm

    $500 for what? There is no more work involved in issuing the permit fora lifetime than the current time limit. This is absolutely nothing but a revenue generation bill which in my view is patently unconstitutional. The first problem is the second amendment guarantees our right to “bear arms” without any permit, THAT is the permit! Second is why should the state have the right to charge an exhorbitant fee (or any fee for that matter) for this “lifetime” permit except to A) discourage application and B) generate additional revenue.

    I live in Tennessee and am appalled that our legislature would do something so blatantly ill advised. All the permit should be “lifetime” with the fee being the same as it is now and those currently with a permit should be automatically grandfathered in.

    • Russ May 14, 2015, 7:11 am

      “For what?” you ask. To get into all your personal info.
      Everyone’s got their hand out, and many get involved in the CCW license process.
      That’s about what it cost me in CA.
      Hard to weigh the good to bad of it.
      The good is, bad guys have to risk getting shot to steal a weapon for their use.
      The bad is, good people have to pay a lot to own and carry, and for that matter, do anything involving firearms.
      We’re paying to have our fun & to have a better chance of staying alive while protecting others.

  • John McPherson May 11, 2015, 6:40 am

    Just a bit of correction, Tennessee issues carry permits, concealment is not required.

    • Aric Forse May 11, 2015, 8:40 am

      I’m proposing a $500 lifetime free speech permit.

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