Open Carry bill moves forward in Tennessee

TENNESSEE — How do you feel about a bill that could allow people in Tennessee to carry guns without a permit?

Last week it passed the state senate, but local and state leaders said that could lead to a rise in violent crime.

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Senate Bill 0765 was passed on the third reading by the Senate on Thursday.

Governor Bill Lee backed the bill but said there is little concern for gun safety throughout the state.

“I’m very concerned about gun safety myself. Because of the concern for gun violence we have strengthened penalties for illegal gun violence and illegal gun ownership,” said Lee.

The bill restricts some people from getting their hands on a weapon without a permit, including people who have had a DUI in the past five years or two DUIs in 10 years.

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Memphis City Councilman Martavius Jones said permitless carry opens the door for more violent crimes to happen in Memphis and Shelby County. He said loosening restrictions gives criminals an open door to commit violent crimes.

The governor said there’s a plan in place to increase gun safety and protect Tennesseans.

“We also are proposing gun safety laws around the state that will provide for greater access to gun safety training. It’s important to remember that we can protect law enforcement. we can protect our citizens and the 2nd Amendment at the same time. That’s what we’re trying to do here,” said Lee.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings has also been very vocal against this legislation. He has spoken at several state meetings about the concern for an increase in crime. The bill still needs to pass the House before it goes to Lee’s desk.