Gun instructors are the latest group raising concerns about Governer Bill Lee’s permitless carry proposal

MEMPHIS,Teen. — Governor Bill Lee’s permitless carry proposal is receiving more criticism since he announced his support for the legislation at the end of February.

FOX13 talked with some gun instructors who are also voicing their concerns.

Drill Sgt Alverto Austin, instructor at Be Sober Be Vigilant Protection Academy, said permitless carry is a bad idea.

“You’re going to start getting people who don’t have the proper education who’s not skilled in handling firearms,” Austin said. “I’m looking at more incidental firings, incidental shootings, and accidents with firearms.”

Trauma doctors said his concerns are valid.

Data from Lebonheur Children’s Hospital showed a 29% increase in children accidentally injured and killed by firearms from 2016 to 2019.

“When you look at some of our patients, they’re 2,3,4,6, 7 years old,” said Dr. Regan Williams, director of trauma medicine at LeBonheur Children's Hospital. “Those children don’t make the decisions, they’re not old enough or they’re not experienced or mature enough so it’s about all of our responsibility to keep them safe.”

William said community violence and unsafe gun storage are the two leading causes for these injuries.

She also said less than 10 percent of them are deadly, but the effects of the injuries often last a lifetime.

“Some of them have nerve injuries and some of that never comes back,” said Williams. “So, they may be unable to use their thumb for the rest of their lives.”

Williams said in the latest state fatality report, the number of causes of external injury to children in Tennessee involved guns.

Police Director Michael Rallings and District Attorney Amy Weirich both spoke out against the permitless carry proposal.