2021 has been a big year for Constitutional Carry.
Within two months, two states — Montana and Utah — passed Constitutional Carry, removing the permit requirement to what should have been treated as a God-given right to self-defense.
In passing Constitutional Carry, these two states became the 17th and 18th states to adopt the legislation in the U.S. This represents tremendous progress when compared to a previous time period such as 2000, when there was only one Constitutional Carry state — Vermont.
Now, other red states are considering these laws. The level of polarization present in America makes the prospect of Constitutional Carry passing much more likely. The fact is that pro-gun laws such as Constitutional Carry are generally associated with Republican or conservative states, which makes any Republican-controlled state a likely prospect for the passage of said law.
States like Tennessee are now considering Constitutional Carry.
Tennessee governor Bill Lee has said that he will support Constitutional Carry Bill SB 765/ HB 786 the 2021 iteration of Constitutional Carry. However, there are a number of flaws with the legislation. Like certain Constitutional Carry bills such as the one filed in Indiana, Tennessee’s version possesses certain flaws that many no-compromise activists view as unacceptable, thus making the Tennessee bill a “fake” Constitutional Carry bill.
In a press release that it shared on March 2, 2021, the National Association for Gun Rights — one of America’s leading no compromise gun lobbies — expressed its resound opposition to Governor Bill Lee’s bill “which purports to enact Constitutional Carry but contains anti-gun provisions.”
“Republican legislators in Tennessee are wasting their super majority,” Dudley Brown the President of NAGR declared. “The inability to deliver a clean Constitutional Carry bill is failed leadership” he continued. “Contrary to public reports the bill Governor Bill Lee has backed, SB-765/HB-786 introduced by State Rep William Lamberth and State Senator Jack Johnson, would not establish Constitutional Carry.”
Brown highlighted some of the salient flaws of the “Confused Carry” bill:
Instead, the bill continues to impose permit eligibility requirements on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to carry firearms. Further, Constitutional Carry would not be extended to law-abiding adults including single mothers between the ages of 18-21, or for those who carry long guns.
“This is why we have labeled the Governor’s bill as ‘Confused Carry,” commented Brown. Instead, NAGR supports HB 18 and SB 318, authored by State Representative Bruce Griffey and State Senator Joey Hensley respectively, which features all the necessary provisions for a real Constitutional Carry bill.
“Unfortunately, legislative leaders are refusing to work with actual gun owners to pass good a Constitutional Carry bill, and are instead hiding behind cover of the establishment gun lobby who’ve given this anti-gun compromise their blessing,” declared Brown.
On March 2, 2021, the bill was passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now in the Finance Committee. Similarly, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee passed the legislation and now it stands before the full Criminal Justice Committee
Gun owners should always be on guard when it comes to promoting legislation. Politicians are more than capable of derailing otherwise solid legislative projects. One best practice that serious lobbies should adopt is constant bill tracking in order to not only keep tabs on a bill’s progress but to see if it gets amended in a way that corrupts the bill.