Surprising absolutely nobody, Republican House Rep. Micah Van Huss of Jonesborough has filed a bill allowing the open carry of handguns without a permit.
The problem with this idea, of course, is that all of the other pro-gun legislation pushed through recently has been predicated on the logic that those with carry permits are the safest, most responsible citizens evah. So if you eliminate the carry permit requirement, then what does that do to those laws? Since they only apply to those with carry permits, I guess that means that it won’t apply to these other people, right? So, what’s the point?
Democratic Sen. Doug Jackson, the main sponsor of the bill, said state Safety Department records show handgun permit holders in Tennessee are responsible.
This is debatable but regardless, if there’s no permit required to carry in a restaurant, then any irresponsible yahoo can carry and, well, who’s to be the wiser?
In summary, an employer may prohibit guns anywhere on company property, but an employee with a handgun-carry permit may keep a gun out of sight in a locked vehicle in the parking lot. All other possession of weapons on company property may still be banned, and employees may still be terminated for violation of an employer’s weapons policy. Employers with operations in Tennessee will need to become familiar with the new law and evaluate their weapons policies in light of the real world facts concerning gun ownership and possession.
So, if carry permits are no longer required …. what does this mean for guns in trunks?
Last year the NRA fever swamp coughted up this particular piece of nuttery: any gun-free business can be sued by a concealed carrier who got injured in an incident where a gun might conceivably have been used to protect them:
The new law, SB 1736, dictates that should any concealed carry permit holder’s safety be threatened after disarming themselves to enter their place of business, then the business will be held liable.
So, pack of wolves stampedes down the aisle at the gun-free grocery? If you have a CCW permit you can try to argue that your gun would have saved you. Trying to unpack the legal logic here seems problematic (wouldn’t you have to prove you’re a good shot, for example?) but regardless, this law was definitely based on the assumption that concealed-carriers are all excellent shots who are ready to jump in and save the day. Get rid of permits and this law means what, exactly?
“My son has a concealed carry permit,” said Susan Shelton, who was at the playground with her daughter Kira Shelton and 15-month-old grandson James. “My son in-law is a corrections officer. He has a concealed carry permit.”
Susan Shelton said she trusts her son and son in-law and others who have carry permits.
“They are trained,” Susan Shelton said. “They are responsive adults. Frankly, I feel safer knowing that somebody like that is here. Bad guys are more likely to go to a gun-free zone.”
But, eliminate the permits and … what, exactly?
We are literally on the brink of making gun ownership a requirement in this state, all because of some misguided notion from the rural folk in the hinterlands that guns are these benign instruments of self-protection. That might work in East Jesus, Tennessee but it sure as all doesn’t make sense in Memphis or Nashville, and the callous disregard our rural legislators have for people in urban areas is something with which I will no longer put up. Especially considering these same people actually live and work in urban Nashville when the legislature is in session.