Tennessee bill would eliminate need for permit to open carry

A Tennessee lawmaker has proposed a bill that would loosen state gun laws and bring Tennessee in line with most of its bordering states.

House Bill 40, introduced last week by Rep. Micah Van Huss, would eliminate the need to obtain a permit in order to openly carry a handgun. In order to carry concealed firearms, however, gun owners would still have to obtain a permit.

Under current law, gun owners are required to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun and to openly carry, a process many consider a waste of time and money.

According to WCYB – NBC News, many Tennessee lawmakers, including Sen. Jon Lundberg, support the bill and are surprised that the legislation has twice failed in the past.

“This is one that people are passionate about, they’re either for it very strongly or against it very strongly,” said Lundberg. “So you will see those kind of passions come out this time around.”

Gun store owner Matt Messer also expressed frustration with the current law and showed support of the new bill, hopeful that if passed it will help his business.

“Well it just slows people down and you know it costs them more money,” Messer told WCYB. “I think more people would probably buy a handgun if they thought they could carry it without paying $200 to the state to do it.”

Some law enforcement officials did not support the bill in the past, and it remains to be seen how they will react this time around if the bill gains traction.

The bill is currently in its early stages and does not yet have a senate sponsor.