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Tennessean: “Concealed handgun permits should not become easier to get in Tennessee”

Today, the Tennessean came out against HB 1264/SB 705, a bill which would weaken the training requirement for a handgun carry permit. The bill is on the agenda to be heard on the House floor today at 9:00am, and in the Senate Finance Committee today at 1:00pm.

Yesterday, volunteers with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America delivered a letter signed by 35 gun safety instructors from across the state opposing the bill to lawmakers.

The Tennessean’s David Plazas writes:

“When gun control advocates and NRA-certified instructors align on a firearms issue, our elected officials should pay attention.

Citizens have a duty to exercise their rights responsibly. More training, not less, should be required if someone wants to be called a responsible firearms owner. After all, our elected officials, including Gov. Bill Lee, have talked about strengthening character and civics education. Instead of passing HB 1264/SB 705, why not strengthen the education surrounding gun ownership?

All citizens would benefit from taking a rigorous gun safety course. While an eight-hour training course is not enough, it invites people have better conversations about firearms policy.”

HB 1264/SB 705 would allow people to carry a handgun in public after watching just a 90-minute online video course, instead of the live-fire safety training that is currently required. This would allow a person to carry a handgun in public even if they have never fired a gun before. Last week, gun safety instructors publicly opposed the bill in a press conference at the Capitol, arguing that the weakened training requirement would threaten public safety.

Gun safety instructors aren’t alone in their opposition to this bill. In fact, 79 percent of recent voters oppose weakening the safety training currently required under Tennessee law, including 75 percent of Republicans.

Volunteers with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America will attend the hearings and will be available for interviews.