The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 2817/SB 2671, a permitless carry bill that would allow people to carry a loaded handgun in public without a permit:
“Here’s the question: Do we really want to have people carrying concealed weapons around our families with zero safety training and zero questions asked?” said Kendra Straub, volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action. “For most Tennesseans, the answer is a resounding no.”
In the days since Governor Lee announced support for permitless carry, stakeholders across the state have publicly opposed the legislation, including gun safety instructors, law enforcement, and district attorneys in Memphis and Nashville.
Gun safety instructors joined Moms Demand Action volunteers at the capitol to oppose the bill’s introduction. Last year, volunteers with Moms Demand Action stood with a coalition of gun safety instructors in opposition to a bill that weakened the permitting system’s training requirement.
Ninety-three percent of recent Tennessee voters support requiring a permit to carry a loaded handgun in public — including 92 percent of Republicans and 91 percent of gun-owning households. Sixty-five percent of recent voters would be less likely to vote for Gov. Lee if he signed legislation that would eliminate the requirement to get a permit in order to carry a loaded handgun in public.
More than 1,000 Tennesseans are shot and killed every year. Between 2009 and 2018, the state’s rate of gun deaths increased by 18 percent.