Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Thursday allowing permitless gun carry, also known as constitutional carry.

“I signed constitutional carry today because it shouldn’t be hard for law-abiding Tennesseans to exercise their #2A rights. Thank you members of the General Assembly and @NRA for helping get this done,” Lee tweeted.

Individuals over the age of 21 will be permitted beginning July 1 to carry handguns both openly and concealed without a permit. Members of the military as young as 18 will also be permitted to open or concealed carry a handgun without a permit, according to the Tennessean.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings expressed concern over the legislation in March, fearing it could lead to a rise in crime, according to WMC 5.

“I’m just very alarmed that our state legislature is poised to pass permit less carry and our governor is waving around like there is a victory lap to be taken,” he said according to the outlet.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) opposed the legislation, according to WVLT. (RELATED: Iowa Gov. Signs Bill Allowing Permitless Carry, Purchase Of Handguns) 

“We don’t have any issue, and support the underlying policy that those that are legally permissible to carry possess a firearm to defend themselves,” TBI Senior Policy Adviser Jimmy Musice said, according to the report. “What we think, though, is that the permit process allows us to actually do that by knowing if that person is lawful.”

Currently, those who wish to get a permit must take an eight-hour in-person course or an online 90-minute course, according to News 4 Nashville.

Tennessee is now the 32nd state to allow for permit-less open carry, according to WVLT.