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Tennessee Moms Demand Action, Everytown Respond After House Judiciary Committee Passes Bill That Would Gut the Handgun Permitting System’s Training Requirement

HB 1264/SB 705 Would Allow People With no Live-Fire Training to Carry a Concealed Handgun in Public

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following response after the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 1264/SB 705, a bill that would weaken Tennessee’s handgun carry permitting system.

“It’s common sense that someone who wants to carry a concealed handgun in public should have the proper training,” said Kat McRitchie, volunteer leader with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We see this bill for what it is: a thinly veiled attempt by the gun lobby to move Tennessee closer to becoming a permitless carry state. The bottom line is that Tennesseans support the permitting system, and we will keep fighting to protect it.”

The current permitting system requires live-fire training, where an individual must practice firing a gun before being granted a permit to carry a handgun in public. This bill creates a new permit that strips that standard, replacing it with training requirements that could be satisfied with as little as a two-hour online video course. This would allow a person to carry a concealed handgun in public even if they have never fired a gun before.

Training requirements are an essential part of an effective permitting system. That is why law enforcement experts, firearms trainers and military personnel agree that citizens carrying concealed weapons in public should undertake firearm training including live fire. In fact, 26 states require live-fire training before obtaining a permit, including Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Ninety-three percent of Tennessee voters – including 88 percent of gun owners and 89 percent of current permit holders – support the state’s current permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public. The few states that have eliminated their permitting requirement altogether have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence.